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The Story of the Campus and Buildings 
of Amherst College 






To the Alumni of Amherst 


This is a companion study to my History of the Endowment of Amherst 
College published a year ago. Today the development and maintenance 
of the plant rank in importance with faculty salaries and scholarships 
as the three largest items in the college budget. The Amherst plant 
stands on the treasurer's books at a little less than $7,000,000. The port- 
folio of investments representing the College's endowment had a book 
(cost) value on June 30, 1950, of about $15,000,000. The plant, there- 
fore, may be said to represent about one-third of the physical assets 
of the College. 

A college plant is not static. It must be maintained and developed. 
The wear and tear by succeeding generations of students takes its toll. 
Deterioration is rapid unless maintenance is carried on year in and 
year out. At certain times in Amherst's history, maintenance has been 
radically curtailed because of financial stringency or for other reasons. 
This has always proved to be shortsighted economy. 

The plant must not only be maintained, it must be developed to meet 
the needs of a college serving a changing society. New fields of learning 
are developed, new subjects are introduced into the curriculum, and 
old subjects are so altered in content or in teaching method that new 
facilities are essential for their proper presentation to students. A single 
example will suffice. Today the College has four buildings devoted to 
the laboratory sciences. Their cubic capacity is about one-fifth of that 
of all our buildings. In its early history the sciences were taught in 
rooms in the basement of Johnson Chapel. 

The development and maintenance of the college plant is the re- 
sponsibility of the Board of Trustees. It ranks in importance with 
responsibility for the endowment. As the Board exercises its responsi- 
bility for the endowment through its Finance Committee, so it exer- 
cises its responsibility for the plant through its Committee on Buildings 
and Grounds. On the "working level," the college plant is the re- 
sponsibility of the president, treasurer, and superintendent of buildings 
and grounds. How much the president himself does in this field de- 
pends, of course, on his interests and aptitudes. The Harvard plant, 
for example, had a notable development during the administration of 
President Eliot. But since the beginning of President Lowell's adminis- 


tration in 1909, the Harvard plant has increased nearly sixty-four per 
cent by construction and acquisition. 

Amherst today has a plant of which our alumni are justly proud. 
It provides excellent facilities for faculty and students engaged in the 
enterprise of learning. The commanding site which the founders called 
"the Consecrated Eminence" has been extended, and the natural beauty 
of its setting has been enhanced by architect and landscape architect. 
Its ancient buildings enshrine the memory of its early struggles and are 
appropriate memorials to the faith of the founders of the institution. 

For one hundred and thirty years, the labors of trustees and the 
generous benefactions of thousands of friends of the College have made 
possible the physical assets which the College uses today in its educa- 
tional program. The architects of each generation have been repre- 
sentative of and responsive to the aesthetic climate of their times. 
Their work is a part of our history and of the social history of our region. 
The trustees have made few mistakes in the exercise of their responsi- 
bility for this development. 

This study is an attempt to place on record the names and the con- 
tributions of trustees and benefactors so that Amherst men may know 
something of this part of our common heritage. 

Stanley King 
Amherst, Massachusetts 
1950 -April 1 95 1 





Chapter I 














Pinckney King) 288 

Notes on Source Material 306 
Acknowledgments 309 

Appendix i Summary of Buildings (chronological order) 310 

2 College Residences (by streets) 328 

3 College Residences (chronological order) 330 

4 Acquisition of Property (chronological order) 332 

5 Summary of Fraternity Houses 337 


6 Members of Buildings and Grounds Committee 340 

7 Index of Building Costs (graph) 346 

8 Map of Buildings (with buildings since 1924 
indicated by heavy line) 347 

9 Key to Map of College Property 348 

Map of College Property 

10 Buildings in Each Period by Cubic Feet 353 

1 1 Disposition of Centennial Gift 354 

Index 359 

[ viii ] 


Immediately after the publication of his History of the Endowment of 
Amherst College in 1950, my husband began this book. The plan for it 
had been long in his mind, and he worked on it with zest and en- 
thusiasm, summer and winter, until in April 1951 he had completed 
what he called "the first draft." This is that first draft as he left it, 
with the addition of figures and some minor editing. There is no doubt 
much that he might have amplified or omitted. But it was all he was 
given time for, so it must stand as it is, his last work for the college 
which he had served with such devotion and happiness for thirty years. 

Margaret Pinckney King 



Let us now praise famous men, 
Even the artificer and workmaster, 
That passeth his time by night as by day; 
And is wakeful to finish his work. 

All these put their trust in their hands, 
And each becometh wise in his own work, 

* * * 
Yet without these shall not a city be inhabited. 
Nor shall men sojourn or walk up and down therein. 
For these maintain the fabric of the world. 
And in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer. 


Chapter I 

Great visions are not reserved for saints and seers. A handful of 
ordinary men in a small town in the Connecticut Valley conceived 
the grandiose dream of a college to educate young men of hopeful piety 
who should go forth and carry the message to the world. The magnitude 
of their dream is attested by the two words they placed on the college 
seal: Terras Irradient. They have been followed by countless men and 
women who for a century and a quarter have had the vision and the wis- 
dom to make possible by their gifts the college plant of today. 

Adam Johnson, a childless old man in Pelham, would long since have 
been forgotten by everyone had he not bequeathed the sum of $4,000, 
two thirds of the savings of a lifetime, to provide for the erection of 
a chapel. And Johnson Chapel has for a century and a quarter sym- 
bolized the faith of the founders and the aspiration of generations 
of alumni. Today it is the center of the College, as it was when it 
was built. 

Only his descendants now remember John Davenport, who died 
some fifty-five years ago. But the Davenport Squash Building will per- 
petuate his name as long as young men play vigorous games in the 
long winters of our New England climate. And other benefactors from 
generation to generation have seen the need of a growing college to 
house its essential work, and have made gifts — some large, some small 
— for this purpose. 

Amherst's old buildings are as useful to the College today as they 
were a century ago. About them have grown up traditions which are 
absorbed by each new generation of students. As Justice Holmes said 
at a Harvard Commencement some sixty years ago, "About these halls 
there has always been an aroma of high feeling, not to be found or lost 
in science or Greek, not to be fixed, yet all-pervading." Amherst, like 
his alma mater, has throughout its history "helped men of lofty nature 
to make good their faculties." 

A college consists of a group of teachers and a group of students 
engaged in the enterprise of learning. The quality of the college de- 


pends primarily on the character and ability of the teachers and of 
the students. But a prime essential for the work of both teachers and 
students is a habitation where the work can be carried on. This habi- 
tation is the campus and the buildings. The well-worn statement 
originating in Williamstown that the ideal education would be Mark 
Hopkins at one end of a log and a student at the other end does not 
define a college. Mark and his student would have frozen to death in 
a Williamstown winter, leaving only the log as a memorial to posterity. 

The campus of Amherst College today stretches from College Street 
on the north to the tracks of the Boston & Maine Railroad on the 
south, and from the tracks of the Central Vermont Railroad on the 
east to South Pleasant Street on the west. Its area is about one hundred 
acres. In addition, the College owns some three hundred and twenty 
acres in Amherst, including Pratt Field, Blake Field, the Wild Life 
Sanctuary, Hallock Grove, and other property. 

Use of the word campus to describe the principal grounds of the col- 
lege is of comparatively recent origin in most American colleges, and 
is not known in this sense in England. It was not recognized by 
American lexicographers until 1889 and 1890, when the Century Dic- 
tionary and a new edition of Webster's Dictionary included it. At 
Harvard the grounds have always been called "The Yard"; at some 
other old colleges they have been called "The Green" or "The Lawn." 
At Amherst they were simply described as "the college grounds." 
The first use of the Latin word campus (meaning a level field) to de- 
scribe the principal grounds of a college seems to have occurred at 
Princeton (then the College of New Jersey) in 1774. At Amherst the 
first use of the word of which we know was nearly a century later, in 
1 87 1, when President Stearns used the word in his address at the 
opening of Walker Hall; but in the printed copy of the address the 
word is italicized to indicate that the president was using a foreign 
word. The following year Professor Tyler used the word without 
italics in his monumental history of the College. By 1900 the word 
was in common usage in three hundred and fifty-nine colleges located 
in every state except Arizona and Oklahoma. 

The Amherst plant today contains some thirty-eight buildings used 
by the College for educational purposes. These buildings contain about 
twelve million cubic feet of space. The Treasurer's Report of June 30, 
1950 reports the college investment in plant as follows: 

Land $ 486,955 

Buildings 5,674,828 

Equipment 698,620 

Total $6,860,403 

As thirty-seven of the thirty-eight buildings were built when costs were 
much lower than the present level, the replacement value of the plant 
is of a much higher order of magnitude. About two thirds of the plant 
has been built, acquired, or completely rebuilt in the past quarter 

In addition, the College owns some fifty houses in the town of Am- 
herst which it rents to members of the faculty and administration. 
These are not considered a part of the educational plant, although they 
are essential, or nearly so, if the College is to obtain and retain the 
best possible men for its staff. These faculty houses are carried on the 
books of the treasurer in a separate account, which stands today at the 
depreciated figure of $616,800, 

Besides the campus and its buildings and the faculty houses, and 
serving the College in place of additional dormitories, are the thirteen 
fraternity houses and the house of the Lord Jeffery Amherst Club, all 
built or rebuilt in the present generation. They have a present total 
assessed value of a little less than Si, 000,000. The total book value 
of the habitation of the College is, therefore, in the neighborhood of 
$8,000,000. This is exclusive of the large investment held by the Trustees 
of Amherst in the Folger Shakespeare Memorial in the city of Washing- 
ton. While the book value of the complete plant is something like one 
half the book value of the securities held in the endowment, the re- 
placement value of land, buildings, equipment, faculty houses, and 
fraternity houses must be about equal to the endowment. 

The significance of these figures will perhaps be clearer if placed in 
the context of similar figures for some of our sister colleges in New 
England. Plant and endowment figures are taken from the Treasurer's 
Reports of 1 950, enrollment from the 1 950 catalogues. 

Enroll- Plant per 





























1 139 


We often speak of the growth of the plant of the College. The phrase 
is misleading. The plant of Amherst College did not grow; it was built. 
The beautiful trees on the campus grew with the years and died and 
were replaced with others. The buildings were built. They represent 
the savings of countless men and women, the work of architects, land- 
scape architects and engineers, of contractors and craftsmen. They 
represent, in addition, the tireless efforts of many college officers and 


trustees and alumni — men like "Old Doc" Hitchcock, George A. 
Plimpton, Josiah Woods, and many others — to bring the needs of 
the College to the attention of men and women who have given small 
sums and large in order that the College might have proper facilities 
for the conduct of the enterprise of education. 

The erection of a college building was a matter of great moment a 
century ago; it is a matter of great moment today. When the College 
has received adequate funds for a new building, the trustees do not 
order a building built, and lo, it is built. The program of what the 
building is to house must first be studied with great care by the college 
staff. If, for example, the building is a chemistry laboratory, the pro- 
fessors of chemistry must determine not only what general facilities are 
to be provided — such as lecture rooms, large and small laboratories, 
storerooms, and library — but they must also consider what metals are 
suitable for plumbing in each laboratory (metals which will not be 
corroded quickly by the chemicals to be used), what gas and electric 
outlets are needed and where, what facilities for demonstration purposes 
in the classrooms, and innumerable other questions of detail. The archi- 
tect must encompass all this in a building of architectural charm, with 
an exterior in keeping with the other buildings of the College, of fire- 
proof materials, with stairways and exits to meet the requirements 
of the building code and the needs of the chemistry department so 
that classes can assemble and leave with the least possible loss of time. 
The building must be connected with the college steam mains, water 
supply, and sewer system. 

The landscape architect must, in consultation with the architect and 
with the college officers, determine the exact location of the building 
and the levels, plan the walks and drives to service it, lay out the 
planting plan and specify the trees and shrubs to be planted about the 
building. As the building is in process of erection, it must be inspected 
frequently by architect and college officers. Questions arise weekly and 
sometimes daily during construction which must have prompt answers 
if the work is not to be delayed and the cost increased. And all this 
must be done within the framework of a budget based on what the 
College can afford to spend. 

The College has suffered two serious fires on its campus in the course 
of its history. "Old" North College, which stood where Williston now 
stands, was completely destroyed by fire on January 19, 1857. Walker 
Hall was burned on the evening of March 29, 1882. The granite walls 
stood, and the building was rebuilt. 

Five college buildings have been disposed of, each for a different 
reason. East College was taken down in 1 883, after serving as a dormi- 



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-- .SiiJ:' iSsJ 

'Old North" on the present site of Williston 

The original President's House, later the first Psi Upsilon house as pictured 
above; the original Alpha Delta Phi house appears in the background 

tory for twenty-five years. The trustees were of the opinion that the 
acquisition of dwelling houses in the town by the various fraternities, 
providing living quarters for their upperclass members, made a third 
dormitory unnecessary, and the location of the Stearns Church just 
east of East College made the removal of the latter desirable from an 
architectural point of view. 

Hitchcock Hall, which was bought in 1 892 as the Boltwood mansion, 
was taken down in igi6 to make way for Converse Memorial Library. 

Pratt Health Cottage, located on the hill northeast of the Delta 
Kappa Epsilon House, became obsolete after serving the College for a 
third of a century, and was sold when the new Infirmary was built in 

The first President's House was sold in 1 834 and a new one built on 

a different site. 

Stearns Church was taken down in 1 949, with the exception of the 
spire, to make way for the Mead Art Building. Under the terms of 
gift, the church could be used only for religious purposes. Only the 
Sunday services were held in the church, and these were transferred 
to the chapel in 1933. In 1946, at the close of the war, Sunday services 
were discontinued, by vote of the Board. 

Other buildings in the course of the years have become obsolete and 
have been reconstructed for purposes quite dififerent from those for 
which the building was erected. Notable examples are Barrett Gym- 
nasium, reconstructed for classroom purposes and renamed Barrett 
Hall, Pratt Gymnasium and Pratt Natatorium reconstructed for the 
Geology Department and renamed Pratt Museum. In both cases the 
families of the principal donors were consulted and their approval 

As we look back over the record of the Amherst buildings built 
during a century and a quarter, we can take satisfaction in the fact 
that the trustees have preserved and made useful for the college of 
today every building which we would like to have had preserved. In 
particular, the row of our first buildings — Johnson Chapel and North 
and South, together with Appleton and Williston — is the pride of 
the College today. 


Chapter II 

The founders of the College inaugurated and carried to completion 
a building program of a magnitude which was not to be equalled again 
at Amherst for nearly a century. They erected four major buildings 
and a president's house in seven years: South College in 1821, North 
College (from 1828 through 1857 called Middle College) in 1823, the 
first president's house in 1822, Johnson Chapel in 1827, and "Old" 
North (on the site of the present Williston Hall) in 1828. Six years 
later they built the present president's house. South College was built 
before the institution had a president, a professor, or a student. Both 
South and North were completed before the College had a charter or 
could grant a degree. 

The men who founded Amherst College were Amherst men of mod- 
est means without powerful friends. They knew full well that their 
plans would be opposed by Williams College, and that they might well 
face the opposition of Harvard College and its powerful friends in the 
eastern part of the state. And they were undaunted by the jeers of their 
fellow townsmen living in the eastern part of the village. They had 
indomitable courage and a burning faith that Divine Providence was 
on their side. 

They were forced at the outset to make two fundamental decisions 
which would affect the future of the institution perhaps for its lifetime. 
The soundness of their answers to these two questions has been tested 
by a century and more of experience. One was the question of a site, 
and the other of architectural design and materials of construction. 
There is a third aspect to their building program which has received, 
as far as I know, no comment from the historians of the College. At 
an early point they seem to have made a well thought out plan for the 
location, design, and orientation of the five buildings to make up College 
Row. This is evidence of extraordinary foresight. 

In the early deliberations it was considered possible that Williams 
College (founded in 1 793) might move to the Connecticut Valley and 
join with the new college to be built in Hampshire County. A vigorous 

rivalry developed between Northampton and Amherst for the location, 
and the Williams College representatives seem even then to have been 
allergic to Amherst, for they favored Northampton. The plan fell 
through, however, partly because the citizens of Williamstown pro- 
tested vigorously to the legislature. 

The Amherst committee, headed by Noah Webster, the lexicog- 
rapher, presented a long and interesting report. In recommending the 
present site they pointed out that "the hill in the center of the west 
road in Amherst, on which the church stands, is within two miles of 
the geometrical center of the territory" the college was expected to 
serve. It was about equidistant from Worcester on the east and Pitts- 
field on the west, from Vermont on the north and Connecticut on the 
south. "The roads leading to and from the town are as good as any 
roads in the country, except perhaps a mile or so on the mountain" 
(the road over the Notch). "It is to be observed," they add, "that this 
hill presents an open prospect to the west, . . . from which the wind 
usually blows in summer, when refreshing breezes are most necessary 
for men of study." Webster was deeply interested in climate, for he 
adds, "this hill in Amherst ... is remarkably defended from the un- 
pleasant effects of easterly winds by a range of hills on the east of the 

In fact, however, two locations in Amherst were under considera- 
tion. The other was on what was then known as Baker's Hill, but its 
distance from the village was considered an obstacle. Years later. Presi- 
dent Hitchcock, who had a passion for replacing old names with new, 
renamed Baker's Hill "Mount Doma," and the property now belongs 
to the College and is the site of the nine-hole golf course. 

There was another persuasive reason for the present site in addition 
to its commanding location and its proximity to the village. Colonel 
Elijah Dickinson in 1 8i 8 had deeded ten acres of his farm to the Charity 
Fund for the college buildings, provided the college was established on 
the site before May 15, 1821. Colonel Dickinson died in 1820. His deed 
of 1 81 8 was complicated and to some extent contradictory. At a meet- 
ing of the Board on May 10, 1820, a committee was appointed to 
"secure a good and sufficient title to the ten acres of land conditionally 
conveyed to the Trustees ... as a site of said Institution by the late 
Col. Elijah Dickinson and for the special benefit of the Charity Fund: 
to digest a plan of a suitable building for said Institution; to procure 
subscriptions, donations or contributions for defraying the expenses 
thereof; to prepare the ground and erect the same, as soon as the 
necessary means can be furnished, — the location to be made with the 
advice and consent of the Prudential Committee." 


The Board appointed five men to this first Building Committee: 
"Samuel Fowler Dickinson, Hezekiah Wright Strong, and Nathaniel 
Smith, Esquires, Dr. Rufus Cowles and Lieut. Enos Baker." Who were 
these men who were entrusted with the task of obtaining the land, 
locating a building, securing plans, raising funds, and erecting the 

Dickinson we already know. He and Colonel Graves were the two 
most influential men in the founding of the College. The son of a 
farmer in East Amherst, a graduate of Dartmouth, where he stood 
second in his class, he was now, at the age of forty-five, one of the 
leading lawyers in the county. His son, Edward, later to become the 
second treasurer of the College, was ready for college. 

Strong was perhaps the third most influential man in the founding 
of the College. The son of a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Ju- 
dicial Court, he was born in Amherst, studied law, and practiced his 
profession first in Deerfield and later in Amherst. He was a member of 
the Board of Overseers for nearly thirty years, and for many years post- 
master of Amherst. He was now fifty-two years old, full of ardor and 
in a hurry to get things done. Tyler reports that he was the first to 
select the site for the College on "the meeting house hill." He then 
went to Colonel Graves and took him up to the hill on a moonlight 
night. Together they set the first stake for "the School of the Prophets," 
as they called the proposed institution. 

Smith was a businessman in Sunderland, where he had been born 
and where he had had a common school education. He was the founder 
of the Sunderland Bank, which later moved to Amherst. Already sixty- 
one years old at this time, he became the largest pecuniary benefactor 
of the College during the first decade of its history. 

Cowles, born in Amherst, was a graduate of Dartmouth, and a prac- 
ticing physician in Amherst and New Salem for many years. He gave 
the Charity Fund some land in Maine which he estimated to be worth 
$3,000, making him the largest donor to the Fund. The overseers found 
difficulty in realizing on it and later exchanged it for land in Pelham 
considered to be worth S700. He used to meet the students arriving in 
town and give them a warm welcome, assuring them that Amherst 
was a remarkably healthy place, as he had not lost a patient for years. 

Enos Baker was a prosperous Amherst farmer whose farm included 
what is now the Mount Doma property. He had pledged $100 to the 
Charity Fund, was one of the incorporators of the Hampshire Agricul- 
tural Society, served as a selectman of Amherst in 181 9, and with 
Noah Webster and Dr. Cowles was trustee of the ministerial fund of 
the First Parish which had been incorporated in 1816. 

Five men — two lawyers, a physician, a businessman and banker, 
and a farmer. Two were graduates of Dartmouth, three had not at- 
tended college. At the same meeting the Board, apparently realizing 
that it was too much to expect one committee to raise the funds and 
build the building too, appointed another committee of six men to 
raise funds. The Building Committee proceeded with dispatch. Within 
three months from their appointment, the foundations of South College 
were nearly finished and on August 9, 1 820, the cornerstone was laid. 

Tyler gathered from eyewitnesses the story of the College's first 
building enterprise, and it is so vivid that I must give it in full. The 
story is unique in the annals of Amherst, and I know of no other college 
which has an analogue. 

"The committee proceeded at once to execute the trust committed 
to them, secured a title to the land, marked out the ground for the 
site of a building one hundred feet long, thirty feet wide and four 
stories high, and invited the inhabitants of Amherst friendly to the 
object to contribute labor and materials with provisions for the work- 
men. With this request, the inhabitants of Amherst friendly to the 
Institution, together with some from Pelham and Leverett and a few 
from Belchertown and Hadley, cheerfully complied. Occasional con- 
tributions were also received from more distant towns, even on the 
mountains. The stone for the foundations was brought chiefly from 
Pelham by gratuitous labor, and provisions for the workmen were 
furnished by voluntary contributions. Donations of lime, sand, lumber, 
materials of all kinds, flowed in from every quarter. Teams for hauHng 
and men for handling, and tending, and unskilled labor of every sort, 
were provided in abundance. Whatever could be contributed gratu- 
itously, was furnished without money and without price. The people 
not only contributed in kind but turned out in person and sometimes 
camped on the ground and labored day and night, for they had a 
mind to work like the Jews in building their temple, and they felt 
that they too were building the Lord's house. The horse-sheds which 
run along the whole line, east of the church, and west of the land de- 
voted to the College, were removed. The old Virginia fence disap- 
peared. Plow and scraper, pick-axe, hoe and shovel, were all put in 
requisition together to level the ground for the building, and dig the 
trenches for the walls. It was a busy and stirring scene such as the 
quiet town of Amherst had never before witnessed, and which the old 
men and aged women of the town who participated in it when they 
were boys and girls, were never weary of relating. The foundations were 
speedily laid. On the gth of August they were nearly completed and 
ready for the laying of the cornerstone. The walls went up, if possible, 


still more rapidly. We doubt if there has been anything like it in mod- 
ern times. Certainly we have never seen or read of a parallel." 

Tyler then quotes Noah Webster, who became president of the Am- 
herst Academy Board immediately after the laying of the cornerstone: 
"Notwithstanding the building committee had no funds for erecting 
the building, not even a cent, except what were to be derived from 
gratuities in labor, materials, and provisions, yet they prosecuted the 
work with untiring diligence. Repeatedly during the progress of the 
work, their means were exhausted, and they were obliged to notify 
the President of the Board that they could proceed no further. On these 
occasions the President called together the Trustees, or a number of 
them, who, by subscriptions of their own, and by renewed solicitation 
for voluntary contributions, enabled the committee to prosecute the 
work. And such were the exertions of the Board, the committee, and 
the friends of the Institution that on the ninetieth day from the laying 
of the cornerstone, the roof timbers were erected on the building." 

"It seemed," exclaimed President Humphrey, "more like magic 
than the work of the craftsmen! Only a few weeks ago, the timber was 
in the forest, the brick in the clay, and the stone in the quarry!" 

"The college well was dug at the same time and in very much the 
same way," Tyler goes on. 

"When the roof and chimneys were completed, the bills unpaid and 
unprovided for were less than $1,300. 

"Here the work was suspended for the winter. But it was resumed 
in the spring, and then the interior of the building was finished 
by similar means, and with almost equal dispatch. By the middle of 
June the building was so nearly completed that the Trustees made 
arrangements for its dedication in connection with the inauguration 
of the President and Professors, and the opening of the College in 
September. And before the end of September, not only was the edifice 
finished, but about half of the rooms were furnished for the reception 
of students, through the agency of churches and benevolent individuals, 
especially of the ladies in different towns in Hampshire and the ad- 
joining counties." 

At the ceremonies in connection with the laying of the cornerstone, 
an address was delivered by Noah Webster, who had been vice- 
president of the Academy Board and now succeeded Dr. Parsons as 
president. On the inauguration of Zephaniah Swift Moore as first presi- 
dent of the collegiate institution in September 1 82 1 , Webster resigned 
as president of the Board and was succeeded by President Moore. 

Parsons and Webster differed widely in experience and background. 
Parsons had been pastor of the Congregational Church in Amherst 

for thirty-seven years. The church was then located at a point near the 
present location of the Octagon. He had been president of the Trustees 
of the Academy from its foundation until 1 820, when he resigned at 
the age of seventy-one. He had been a liberal subscriber to the Charity 
Fund, giving $600, which was equivalent to half a year's salary; when 
extraordinary exertions were necessary to bring the fund to $50,000, 
he had joined with a few other Amherst men in signing a bond for 
Si 5,000. He was a graduate of Harvard, and had received the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Divinity from Brown in 1800. His grandson gradu- 
ated from the College in the class of 1849, his great-grandson was 
William Ives Washburn of the class of 1876. From his great-great- 
grandson, Ives Washburn of the class of 1 908, the College received a 
generous bequest of $25,000 in 1 948, to establish a fund the income of 
which is to be used by the College for the development of its public 
relations. And his great-great-great-grandson is a graduate of the Col- 
lege in the class of 1 934. 

Noah Webster, the American lexicographer, was born in West Hart- 
ford in 1758, graduated from Yale in 1778, taught, studied law, and 
became a journalist. In 1 783-85 he published his famous spelling book, 
which ultimately sold more than a million copies a year. The income 
derived from this supported him and his family during the twenty years 
in which he worked in preparing his great dictionary, which was pub- 
lished in two volumes in 1828. It contained 12,000 more words and 
30,000 definitions that had not appeared in any earlier dictionary. 
During most of this period he lived in Amherst and in New Haven. 
The location of his home in Amherst on Main Street is now marked 
by a tablet. His great-grandson graduated from Amherst in the class 
of 1875. His great-great-grandson, Richmond Mayo-Smith of the class 
of 1 909, was chairman of the Board of Trustees of the College in 1 950. 
And two great-great-great-grandsons graduated in the classes of 1944 
and 1949. 

Webster's leadership was of inestimable value to the infant college. 
He was a man of the great world. His name was known everywhere; his 
spelling book had made him famous even before the publication of his 
dictionary. The other founders were hardly known outside of Hamp- 
shire County. Webster's reputation was formidable. His contribution to 
Amherst has, I think, been too little appreciated by historians of the 

Meanwhile, in May 1821, the trustees elected Zephaniah Swift 
Moore as the first president of "the Charity Institution" which was to 
become Amherst College. His salary was fixed at $1,200 per annum 
"with the usual perquisites." A month later the Board elected the 


first two professors to the faculty — Olds in mathematics (no relation 
to our "Georgie" Olds), and Estabrook in Greek and Latin. On the 
eighteenth of September the new building was dedicated and the presi- 
dent and professors were inaugurated with appropriate ceremony. On 
September 1 9 the College officially opened for its first year. It had one 
building, a president, two professors, and forty-seven students. It was 
an auspicious beginning. 

Zephaniah Swift Moore had graduated from Dartmouth in 1 793 at 
the age of twenty-three, and after teaching school had studied for the 
ministry. After eleven years in a pastorate, he accepted an appointment 
as professor of languages at Dartmouth and taught for four years. In 
1 81 5, at the age of forty-five, he was elected president of Williams Col- 
lege. Here "his kind and sympathetic heart made every student feel 
that he had in the president a personal friend. At the same time, his 
firmness in the administration of the government convinced even the 
sophomores that they had found their master and must obey the laws." 

Williams College was going through a period of some difficulty, and 
a number of the trustees favored moving the college to Northampton or 
some other town in Hampshire County. Dr. Moore favored this plan 
from the beginning. When the plan was dropped, Dr. Moore felt that 
his usefulness at Williams College had come to an end, and he accepted 
the offer of the presidency of "the Charity Institution" at Amherst. 
With him came fifteen of the students of Williams College, a fifth of 
their enrollment, and nearly a third of the opening enrollment at Am- 
herst. Williams College never forgave President Moore. For more than 
a century it failed to hang his portrait in its line of presidents. And as 
recently as my own term as president of Amherst, Williams borrowed 
from us one of our two portraits in oil of Moore to exhibit on some 
academic anniversary. 

The incidents of 1821 had one interesting result which has, as far 
as I know, not been noted by historians. Williams College, in its irrita- 
tion and distress at losing a president and a fifth of its student body, 
invited its graduates back to Williamstown for a homecoming. There 
they formed the first formal alumni organization of any American col- 
lege. It was a quarter century before Harvard formed such an or- 
ganization. Amherst's Society of the Alumni was formed a year after 
Harvard's. Williams College, thanks to Amherst, has the honor of 
being first in a field which has proved to be of such profound importance 
and influence in college afifairs. 

The student body of Amherst in its first year was not large, but we 
could not have accommodated many more. It included a number of 
men whom we shall hear of later. In the senior class of two was Ebenezer 

Snell, a transfer from Williams, who was to be a member of the Amherst 
faculty for half a century. In the junior class was Edward Dickinson, 
who was to serve the College as its treasurer for a third of a century. 
And in the sophomore class were Bela Bates Edwards, another transfer 
from Williams, later a professor at Andover Theological Seminary, 
whom we shall meet later as the spearhead of a drive for a library 
building at Amherst, and Charles Upham Shepard, a transfer from 
Brown, later professor of natural history and chemistry at Amherst 
for a quarter of a century. 

On the same day that South College was dedicated and the president 
and two professors inaugurated, the cornerstone was laid for the presi- 
dent's house. This had been voted by the trustees at their meeting on 
May 8, 1 82 1 , when they had elected President Moore, with the proviso 
that they were able to secure sufficient donations of money, materials, 
and labor. This house was located approximately where the Psi Upsilon 
house now stands. The contractor was Colonel Warren S. Rowland of 
Amherst, and the cost was $4,000. Warren S. Rowland was born in 
Conway in 1798, and came to Amherst in 1821. Re was a skilled 
carpenter and joiner, and it was said that he moved to Amherst in 
order to participate in the building program which the College was 
to undertake. In any event, he was the contractor for a number of 
the College's early buildings, and in addition he built the church for 
the First Parish which later became College Rail. The president's house 
was completed in the summer of 1822, and in the same summer North 
College was begun. A new subscription campaign was begun to raise 
$30,000 to pay the debts already incurred, to pay for North College, 
and to meet other necessary expenses. North College was ready for 
occupancy at the opening of the second term of the second college year, 
in the winter of 1822-23. ^^ "^^^ built by Riram Johnson, an Amherst 
mason, and cost $10,000. 

We may well pause here a moment to look at North and South Col- 
leges, for, except in exterior design, they were not the buildings with 
which we are familiar. Each contained thirty-two square rooms, each 
suitable for two students. There were eight rooms to a floor, four in 
each entry. There was no central heating and no plumbing, and, of 
course, no lighting fixtures. Students cut their own wood on the college 
grounds, stacked it, and carried it to their rooms to use in their fire- 
places. They drew their supplies of water from the college well. Out- 
door privies were located east of the dormitories. It was twenty-five 
years before bedrooms and studies were separated. The room occupied 
by the two members of the senior class. Field and Snell, was on the 
southwest corner of the fourth floor of South. It served not only as 


study and bedroom, but as senior recitation room as well. Here Presi- 
dent Moore met the class daily. Tyler tells us that there were four 
chairs, one more than necessary. 

The college library was contained in a single bookcase six feet wide 
located in the north entry of the same building. The books numbered 
nearly seven hundred volumes. When North was completed, the two 
corner rooms on the fourth floor of the south entry were thrown into 
one, and used for chapel services and lectures in chemistry, "thus 
uniting religion and learning according to the original design of the 

Sunday services were held in the village church, which stood on or 
near the present site of the Octagon. At first, the bell in the church 
summoned the students to classes. When a bell was presented to the 
College, a clumsy and ugly frame was erected between the church and 
North College and the bell hung here. This soon became an object 
of ridicule to the students, who proceeded to tip it over. The bell was 
then transferred to the tower of the new chapel. 

The college grounds were limited in extent and were left in their 
natural state. An alumnus of the time recalls that there were no walks 
or trees or shrubs, and that each spring on "chip" day the students 
turned out to scrape and clean up the grounds near the buildings. A 
contemporary picture shows a bare hillside with South College and 
the village church standing out starkly and unadorned. The forest ex- 
tended right up to the east of the college buildings, and all the land 
between the village of Amherst and the village of Hadley was wood- 

The College had been founded by men of strong religious convictions. 
They were orthodox Congregationalists who believed in the doctrines 
of John Calvin as interpreted for their generation by Jonathan Ed- 
wards. They were shocked and dismayed by the growth of Unitarian- 
ism in the eastern part of the state. They wanted, above all, an educated 
ministry. So vigorous were they in the expression of their religious 
convictions that they were taunted with trying to establish a "priest 
factory." It was natural for them to use religious terms in their conver- 
sation. They called the college grounds "the Consecrated Eminence," 
and they referred to the students in the College as "the sons of the 
prophet," referring to the BibUcal account of the prophet Elijah and 
the young men who flocked to hear him. 

Before the College had celebrated its second Commencement, it suf- 
fered a grievous loss in the sudden death of President Moore, on 
June 29, 1823, after an illness of only four days. He was not yet fifty- 
three. A man of medium height but commanding presence, weighing 


some two hundred and forty pounds, he wore short breeches and long 
stockings, which were said to be particularly becoming. His manner 
combined suavity, dignity, and firmness; he had both serenity and 
humor, and he was so deeply respected by his students that the senior 
class were with difficulty persuaded to accept their degrees at Com- 
mencement from other hands. The trustees had to act promptly to 
prevent the infant college from disintegrating on the loss of its leader. 
Within a month they elected Heman Humphrey as the second presi- 
dent of the institution. 

Humphrey was forty-four years old, a graduate of Yale in the class 
of 1 805, for the previous six years pastor of a church in Pittsfield, and 
a trustee of Williams College. He was a champion of the orthodoxy 
represented by the founders of the College, and had received the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Middlebury College. On 
the fifteenth of October he was inducted into office, and served the 
College for twenty- two years. 

The College now had one hundred and twenty-six students, and 
Humphrey noted on the cover of his printed inaugural address that 
ninety-eight were "hopefully pious." This notation was used to plague 
him when the College later appealed to the legislature of the Common- 
wealth for funds. A Boston member of the legislature in vigorous op- 
position to any grant to Amherst said, "Sir, has it come to this? Shall 
the government of a college, professing to rest on the broad basis of 
public good, introduce such distinctions within their walls, and divide 
their students into two classes, the one 'hopeful' and the other 'hopeless' 
as to their spiritual concerns?" 

President Humphrey continued the fight for the charter which had 
been begun by his predecessor. After a struggle of more than two years, 
a charter, which had been subjected to various amendments, was passed 
by both houses of the legislature and signed by the lieutenant governor, 
Marcus Morton, on February 21, 1825. "The Charity Institution in 
Amherst" then became Amherst College. 

During the fight for the charter, a number of friends of the College 
and some members of the public wrote letters to the Boston papers on 
the subject. On February 19, 1824, the Boston Telegraph published a 
letter "On the Granting of a Charter to Amherst College" from a 
young student at Andover Theological Seminary named Jacob Abbott. 
Abbott had had no connection with Amherst — he was a graduate of 
Bowdoin — but he was destined to play a significant part in the early 
days of the College, particularly in the development of the building 
program. His greatest contribution to the College has received no at- 
tention from the College's historians, for he was associated with Am- 


herst for less than five years and he made his reputation in other fields. 
But I note that in the 1 950 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica he 
is one of three men associated with the College in its earliest days 
whose biography is included. The others are, of course, Noah Webster, 
the lexicographer, and Edward Hitchcock, the scientist and third presi- 
dent of the College. 

Jacob Abbott (i 803-1 879) was a versatile man of boundless energy. 
Born in Hallowell, Maine, he graduated from Bowdoin College in the 
class of 1820 at the age of seventeen. Bowdoin (founded in 1794) was 
at this time a small college with about eighty students and three build- 
ings, one of wood and two of brick. Recitations were conducted in the 
students' rooms, and a contemporary chronicler from South Carolina 
remarked that the students were "distinguished for their attention to 
study and equally so for the regularity of their deportment." The 
teaching at Bowdoin at the time was particularly strong in mathe- 
matics, natural philosophy, and chemistry. For the four years after 
leaving college, Abbott taught at Portland (where the poet Longfellow 
was one of his students) and at Beverly, Massachusetts, and studied 
theology at Andover Theological Seminary. 

Six months after the publication of his letter in the Boston Telegraph 
urging the granting of a charter, Abbott joined the staff of the Charity 
Institution at Amherst as a tutor. During his first year at Amherst he 
spent his vacations with Reverend Edward Hitchcock, the pastor at 
Conway, and made a number of geological excursions with him. The 
following spring, as we have seen, the College received its charter, and 
the trustees of the Charity Institution were succeeded by the trustees 
of the College. Professor Olds resigned as professor of mathematics, and 
Abbott was offered an appointment as associate professor of mathe- 
matics and professor of chemistry at a salary of $600. Abbott declined 
the offer. The professorship of mathematics which Olds had held was 
offered to Edward Hitchcock of Conway, who made no definite reply 
to the oflTer. 

Meanwhile Abbott had been presented by the freshman class of 
mathematics, which he had taught, with a "splendid copy" of Hume, 
Smollett, and Bisset, "with his name stamped upon the cover," and 
by the sophomore class in mathematics with a copy of the Universal 
Biography. When Commencement came, the trustees were forced to 
take action to staff" the small faculty for the coming year. They elected 
Hitchcock professor of chemistry and natural history, and Abbott pro- 
fessor of mathematics and natural philosophy. Abbott's salary was fixed 
at S800, "one hundred dollars of which are, however, to be appro- 
priated by him annually, with the advice of the other members of the 

faculty, towards making repairs and additions to the philosophical 
apparatus." He was a full professor at the age of twenty-one. Hitch- 
cock's salary was $700. 

Abbott soon organized a faculty club (called "The Pentagon" be- 
cause it had five members) for the mutual improvement of its members, 
and the club under his leadership began a series of studies of scientific 
schools, military academies. New England colleges, and European uni- 
versities. A little later he devised and submitted to the faculty a new 
curriculum which was called the Parallel Course, which was adopted 
by the Faculty and the Board and in effect for a short time. In 1828 he 
married and brought his bride to Amherst; their letters to friends give 
an interesting picture of life in Amherst at that time. They rented a 
house, because the town was packed with boarders, "almost three 
hundred of them," and almost every house was a boarding house. 
Their house was an old one, commanding a fine view of the Holyoke 
Range, and contained a tow^er which the Abbotts climbed before break- 
fast each morning for the view. They sublet half the house to Ebenezer 
Snell, who had graduated from Amherst in the first class and who had 
just come to Amherst with his young bride to accept an appointment as 
tutor. Snell was two years older than Abbott. They took in Abbott's 
brother, who was coming to Amherst to study theology under President 
Humphrey. Another brother was serving as associate principal of Am- 
herst Academy, and a younger brother was attending the Academy to 
prepare for admission to Bowdoin. 

In addition to his regular duties, Jacob Abbott was studying French, 
making philosophical apparatus in his workshop, taking his turn in 
supplying the pulpit in the college chapel, conducting a share of the 
college correspondence, teaching a Bible class, preparing with a col- 
league a series of question-books for Bible study, and preaching almost 
every Sunday at the Congregational Church in Hatfield. 

But Abbott's great contribution to the College was in the field of 
buildings and grounds. He made a ground plan for the College, and 
his plan was adopted and carried out. This is evidence of extraordinary 
foresight on the part of the Board, and the plan now embodied in our 
College Row is proof of Abbott's success. It was a new field. The ancient 
universities of Oxford and Cambridge had grown by accretion. So had 
the early American colleges in the colonies. Only the University of 
Virginia is an exception to this traditional procedure. Virginia was 
founded at about the time that Amherst was being built. Its beautiful 
early plant was built from designs made in advance by Thomas Jef- 
ferson, and adopted by the Virginia trustees, of whom Jefferson was 
one. Harvard, which had been founded in 1636, made its compre- 


hensive ground plan in the early nineteenth century. Its author was 
the famous Charles Bulfinch, architect of the Boston State House and 
other public buildings. 

How early Abbott prepared his plan for Amherst we do not know. 
At a meeting of the Prudential Committee on September 26, 1827, the 
Committee appointed Abbott, in addition to his other duties, inspector 
of the college buildings and grounds for the current year. He was 
authorized to make necessary repairs and to present his accounts to the 
Committee, and he was allowed "a reasonable compensation for his 
personal services" in addition to his salary as a professor. At the meeting 
of the Prudential Committee six weeks later, on November 8, 1827, it 
was voted "to erect the next college building on the north side of the 
lot on which the other buildings now stand according to a plan submitted 
by Prof. Abbott provided that about three acres and a half of land can be 
added to said lot by purchase as contemplated in the plan, chiefly on the 
south and east sides" (italics supplied). At the same meeting the treas- 
urer was authorized to purchase this land at a price not exceeding S450. 

It is of course interesting to speculate on whether Abbott prepared 
this plan in the six weeks between his appointment as inspector of col- 
lege buildings and the adoption of the plan by the Prudential Com- 
mittee, which seems unlikely. The more probable explanation is that 
Abbott prepared the plan the previous year, and that his interest in 
this aspect of the development of the college was the reason for his 
appointment as inspector of buildings. 

The plan itself is preserved in an ancient engraving from a copper 
plate entitled "View of Amherst College Mass.," and dated the follow- 
ing year, 1828. Beneath the excellent picture of the five buildings in 
College Row is an engraved inscription beginning, "The above View 
represents the buildings of the College, as contemplated in the plan 
adopted by the Trustees^'' (italics supplied). At the meeting of the Pru- 
dential Committee on March 14, 1828, $20 was appropriated for the 
purchase of one hundred "of the Lithographic prints of the College 
for distribution." This is, I suppose, the first expenditure made by the 
College for institutional advertising. 

Early impressions of this engraving are now collectors' items, but the 
original copper plate has recently been discovered in England and 
brought to this country. A new edition from the original plate is now 
available for purchase. The College has several excellent examples of 
the original impression. 

After four years as an Amherst professor, Abbott resigned to engage 
in the establishment of a girls' school in Boston, later known as the 
Mount Vernon School because of its location on Mount Vernon Street. 

Still later, he became successively founder and pastor of a church in 
Boston, founder and principal of a school for boys in New York. But 
he is best known to fame as an author. He wrote and published one 
hundred and eighty volumes himself and, in addition, was editor or 
joint author of thirty-one more. The best known were the Rollo Books 
for boys, and the illustrated histories which came out in thirty-two 
volumes, of which Jacob Abbott wrote twenty-two and his brother 

In a conversation with President Lincoln not long before his death, 
the President thanked Abbott for his histories and said, "I have not 
education enough to appreciate the profound works of voluminous 
historians; and if I had, I have no time to read them. But your series 
of histories gives me, in brief compass, just that knowledge of past 
men and events which I need. To them I am indebted for about all 
the historical knowledge I have." 

In 1874 Abbott was called back to an Amherst Commencement to 
receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. Jacob Abbott did 
not, however, exhaust the energy of the Abbott family. A generation 
later, in 1908, his son, Lyman Abbott (lawyer, minister, and editor), 
was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Amherst. 
And in 1931 Lawrence F, Abbott of the class of 1881, son of Lyman 
and grandson of Jacob, received the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Humane Letters at an Amherst Commencement. This is, I think, a 
unique record in the annals of the College. 

Jacob Abbott's desk is preserved in the Hitchcock Memorial Room, 
and much of the research for this study has been done at his desk. 
Above it is an almost complete collection of the Rollo Books, gathered 
in memory of the first professor of mathematics and natural philosophy 
at Amherst, first by Professor Snell and later by Professor S. R. Wil- 
liams, who retired as professor of physics at the College in 1947. 

Abbott's place on the science faculty was later filled by other teachers 
who made distinguished records as scientists. His Parallel Course was 
nearly a century ahead of its time. His books have long since ceased to 
be read. But his plan for the campus, adopted by the Board, still lives 
as a contribution that was unique in the early history of the College. 

We must now turn back to the buildings themselves and to the 
problem of a chapel. At the first meeting of the trustees after the grant- 
ing of the charter, held on April 30, the Prudential Committee was 
authorized to build a chapel, provided the College won its case in the 
Supreme Judicial Court to establish the will of Adam Johnson. And 
the Committee was authorized to borrow additional money for the 
purpose not exceeding S6,ooo. At the annual meeting held three 


months later, the Board directed the Prudential Committee to pro- 
ceed at once with the erection of the chapel and of another dormi- 
tory of the same size as North and South Colleges, and authorized 
them to borrow the money necessary and to mortgage the college 
property for the loans incurred. The Prudential Committee consisted 
of the president of the College and Rufus Graves, John Leland, Na- 
thaniel Smith, and Lewis Strong. Smith, we have seen, was the Sunder- 
land businessman and banker. Rufus Graves, who had spearheaded 
the campaign for the College, was more or less a jack-of-all-trades who 
was unsuccessful in his private ventures. He was made a member of 
the Prudential Committee although he was not named a trustee in the 
charter and never became a trustee. Smith's name had been omitted 
in the list of trustees in the charter, but he was added to the Board soon 
after, when a vacancy occurred. Leland was the treasurer of the Col- 
lege. Lewis Strong, the remaining member of the Committee, is not 
to be confused with Hezekiah Wright Strong whom we have met earlier 
as a member of the Building Committee for South College. Lewis 
Strong ( 1 785-1 863) was the son of Caleb Strong, who was Governor of 
Massachusetts for ten years. He himself was a graduate of Harvard in 
the class of 1803 and a practicing lawyer in Northampton for some 
thirty years. Chief Justice Parsons called him "the strongest lawyer in 
all the western counties." He attended every meeting of the Amherst 
Board from 1825 until his resignation in 1833, and during his service 
on the Board he was always a member of the Prudential Committee, 
which was in effect the Executive Committee of the Board. He also 
served on most of the important special committees appointed by the 
Board, and was constantly consulted by President Humphrey and 
Treasurer Leland on college problems. 

The Prudential Committee promptly named a subcommittee com- 
posed of Leland and Smith as a Building Committee, and Leland did 
most of the work. He was a salaried officer of the College at S300 a 
year. He had already been appointed inspector of buildings in 1824 to 
see that they were kept in good repair, and the Prudential Committee 
had instructed him to visit all the rooms in the College at least twice 
in each term (there were three terms) for this purpose. He was asked 
also to find twenty rooms in the village for the accommodation of stu- 
dents. The Prudential Committee then took up the question of insuring 
the college buildings and directed Leland to place $10,000 of insurance 
on the existing buildings. This seems to us today short-sighted economy, 
as the three buildings already built had cost the College about $24,000. 
The insurance coverage was, therefore, only about forty per cent of 
value. But the policy of underinsuring was continued by the Board for 

The Octagon 

Morgan Hall with west addition 

at least half a century, until the disastrous fire in Walker Hall caused a 
sudden change of policy. 

Work on the chapel was begun in the spring of 1 826, and the building 
was dedicated on February 28, 1827. President Humphrey preached 
the dedication sermon from the text: "Hitherto hath the Lord helped 
us." At its annual meeting in August 1828, the Board voted that the 
chapel should forever be called Johnson Chapel and directed the presi- 
dent to have these words painted over the middle door to the chapel 

Besides the chapel room itself, the building contained originally four 
recitation rooms, a room for scientific apparatus, and a cabinet for 
minerals on the first floor, two recitation rooms on the second floor, a 
library room on the third floor, and a laboratory in the basement. The 
recitation rooms on the first floor were known as the Greek Room, 
the Latin Room, the Mathematics Room, and the Tablet Room, the 
latter because it was furnished with blackboards. The two recitation 
rooms on the second floor, now occupied by the president's offices, 
were originally the Rhetorical and the Theological Rooms. In the 
latter room the president conducted most of the recitations of the senior 
class. The Greek Room later was known for two generations as Pro- 
fessor Tyler's Room. 

Neither Tyler nor Hitchcotk makes any reference to an architect 
for any of the early college buildings. Hitchcock, writing in 1863, re- 
marks that "it was unfortunate that the plan of the building (Johnson 
Chapel) did not pass under the eye of some competent and responsible 
architect." Apparently Hitchcock was in error. In going through the 
papers of Treasurer Leland, there was found in one of his account 
books the following item: 

Nov. 23, 1825 To cash pd for horse & chaise to 
Northampton & expense to see Mr. 
Damon to get a plan for a chapel i .62 

Jany. 6, 1826 To cash pd for going to Northampton 

to get a plan for the Chapel i .50 

Four items follow for similar charges running to October 18, 1826. 
The following May 31 there is an entry of S25.00 paid to Isaac Damon 
for "Benefits." Captain Isaac Damon was an architect and a member 
of the firm of Damon & Stebbins of Northampton. He was also a con- 
tractor. He built a number of buildings in Northampton, including an 
early church, the Mansion House, and the Curtis House. How much 
he did for Johnson Chapel we do not know. The building today we 
regard as the pride of the Amherst campus, and it is perhaps fair to 


say that the College never in its history received better value for any 
expenditure of $25. The cost of Johnson Chapel was $14,865.1 1. In the 
college archives in the Hitchcock Memorial Room is preserved the 
notebook in paper covers in which Treasurer Leland recorded item 
by item the costs of the building and in which he also recorded the 
money borrowed from various sources to meet the payments as they 
came due. The final entry is a payment to Leland himself of $197 "for 
his services as agent and responsibility building the Chapel as allowed 
by the Committee." His modest charge for his services was not paid 
until two years later and the College added S24 to cover interest. Fol- 
lowing this entry is a statement that his accounts "have been audited 
and approved by President Humphrey and Trustees Smith and Tay- 

The Prudential Committee had authorized the treasurer to borrow 
Si 0,000 from the Charity Fund to add to the legacy of $4,000 from 
the Adam Johnson estate, and to secure the Charity Fund by a mortgage 
on the college buildings and a policy of insurance of Si 0,000. The 
treasurer was now authorized to borrow $1,500 additional to meet the 
final bills. 

Apparently the problem of heating the recitation rooms in the chapel 
in a New England winter had been overlooked, perhaps because of 
expense. In any event, at the beginning of the next winter the Pru- 
dential Committee authorized the president and Professor Abbott, who 
was now inspector of buildings, to procure a furnace immediately, pro- 
vided a furnace can be found which will "effectually" warm the build- 
ing. The following summer (1828) the Committee told the treasurer to 
place a lightning rod on the chapel "forthwith." 

Within the next year defects became apparent in the chapel tower, 
and Leland was directed by the Prudential Committee to point out 
the defects to the builders and ask them to make the necessary repairs 
at once; and in case of their failure to do so, he was instructed to have 
them made at the expense of the builders. 

The repairs to the tower seem to have failed to correct the defects, 
for a year later (1830) the Committee directed Lucius Boltwood, its 
secretary, to "procure the tower of the Chapel to be put into such a 
state of repair as shall be necessary to protect it from the weather." 

It was three years after the completion of the chapel that the Pru- 
dential Committee took up the question of insurance. Then they di- 
rected the treasurer to place from $5,000 to $10,000 of insurance on 
the building which had cost over $15,000, provided he could place it 
at not over fifty cents per hundred dollars. Until the insurance was 
placed, the president was asked to "procure some student to take 

special care and oversight of fires in and about the college chapel." 
There seems to have been great difficulty in placing the insurance be- 
cause of the new furnace, for two years later (December 1832), the 
Committee asked the president, the treasurer, and the secretary of the 
Board to take immediate measures to procure the insurance "and if 
necessary for that purpose to cause the furnace to be removed and 
such parts of the lower story as have been occasionally used as work- 
shops to be hereafter closed." At the same meeting the same gentlemen 
were asked to have the furnace inspected, and, if it was necessary to 
remove it, they were to adopt "such other mode of warming the recita- 
tion rooms as they may deem proper." The furnace was removed and 
woodburning stoves were placed in the chapel room and in the recita- 
tion rooms. 

There were other problems. The chapel bell proved unsatisfactory, 
and in 1 835 the Committee authorized Luke Sweetser to exchange the 
chapel bell "for a good one." 

North and South Colleges had followed what is now called the 
colonial design, which is represented by early buildings at Harvard 
and at other old New England colleges. In exterior design we would 
not now wish them different, if we could eliminate the steel fire escapes 
put on by the Army in World War II. Because of the abject poverty 
of the College when they were built, they are entirely free from any 
exterior ornamentation whatever. They are as "functional," to use a 
word that was not current when they were built, as the most "modern" 
structure of the mid-twentieth century. Johnson Chapel, on the other 
hand, is a dignified example of the Greek revival which had so pro- 
found an influence in this country in the early days of the nineteenth 
century. And the present president's house, built in 1 834, is an excellent 
example of Georgian architecture. Who of us would wish to change the 
early exterior of any of these four early buildings of the College built 
by the founders with little professional assistance? 

It is true, of course, that the interior arrangements have been modi- 
fied from time to time to meet the needs of a changing college. The 
east face of Johnson Chapel was originally left entirely bare because 
it opened on the forest and outdoor toilet facilities of the dormitories. 
The present east fagade was added in 1934, as we shall see later. 

The College was steadily growing in size, and at the annual meeting 
of the Board in August 1827 the trustees voted to direct the Prudential 
Committee to build another dormitory similar in general to the two 
the College already had. The Committee selected as the site for this 
building the location proposed by Professor Abbott on his general plan 
and now occupied by Williston Hall. Treasurer Leland was named a 


Building Committee of one, and the building was completed and ready 
for occupancy by students in the college year 1828-29. The new build- 
ing was named North College, and the present North was renamed 
Middle. It seems to have had various improvements over the two 
earlier buildings. The bedrooms were better lighted and ventilated, 
and there were ample closets. Its one defect was that it ran east and 
west instead of north and south, and the rooms on the north side were 
without sunlight. This was particularly unfortunate in a day when 
there was no central heating. Nonetheless, it was for many years the 
favorite choice of the upperclassmen. On January 19, 1857, it was 
destroyed by fire, and since then has been referred to as "Old" North 
to distinguish it from the present North which was built five years earlier. 

The contractor for "Old" North was George Guild of Amherst, who, 
with Leland and others, was a member of the early Volunteer Fire 
Department. The cost was $10,447.70. For this building too we have 
Leland's notebook containing an itemized account of expenditures for 
construction as well as a detailed statement of the loans he made for 
the college account to secure the necessary funds. He received $134 
plus $16 for two years' interest for "services as agent for contracting 
and superintending the building of the last college building and for 
obtaining the money to fulfill his contracts as there was no money 
provided by the Trustees." The accounts were audited by L. Boltwood. 
Leland's compensation amounted to about one and one-third per cent of 
the cost of the building operation in the case of the Chapel and Old North . 

The College now had accommodations for about two hundred resi- 
dent students. A pamphlet issued by Amherst under date of May 31, 
1824 gives the enrollment in the New England colleges as follows: 


















(now U. of Vt.) 


Waterville, Maine 

(now Colby) 


Meanwhile the students themselves began to improve the college 
grounds. They completed the terraces in front of College Row; they 
erected a "fine bathing establishment" east of the chapel and near 


the old college well; and they constructed an outdoor gymnasium in 
the grove east of the college buildings. The trustees were so much 
impressed, as well they might have been, that they passed a resolution 
at their annual meeting in August 1827 expressing to the students "the 
pleasure they feel in view of their regard for the interest of the Insti- 
tution, & of their self-denying & benevolent exertions to add to its 
convenience & beauty, & they do also express their earnest hope that 
the students will ever retain a laudable ambition to render the college 
so far as they are able, attractive and delightful as a seat of science & 

Open-air gymnasia of the Jahn (German) type were, in fact, in- 
stalled at Amherst, Harvard, Yale, Williams, Brown, and Bowdoin at 
about this time. The Amherst affair was in the college grove, east of 
Johnson Chapel, and a number of pieces of apparatus were set up. A 
student gymnastic society was organized. The outdoor bath house was 
installed at the south side of the grove. It was ten by twelve feet in 
size, and without a roof. A trough was built from the college well, 
and a student poured as many buckets of water from the well as he 
wished into this trough. The water flowed to a tank at the bath house. 
The student then crossed the grove to the bath house, disrobed, and 
pulled a cord, which released the water from the tank and provided 
him with a cold shower. We owe our detailed description of bath house 
and open-air gymnasium to Edward Hitchcock, Jr., son of the presi- 
dent, and a graduate in the class of 1849. 

At the same August meeting in 1827, the Board authorized the pur- 
chase of the homestead and farm formerly belonging to Reverend David 
Parsons containing nearly one hundred acres. This is the property on 
which the present president's house, Morgan Hall, and College Hall 
now stand. The farm included land on Northampton Road running 
down to below the present Orchard Street. The treasurer was au- 
thorized to borrow the money necessary and to mortgage the property. 
The Prudential Committee, after careful study, bought first some three 
and one-half acres to add to the campus and to make possible the 
carrying out of Professor Abbott's plan, then authorized the treasurer 
to make an exchange of land with Lucius Boltwood to square the college 
campus on the north side. This involved an expenditure of $450. Then 
they inspected the Parsons property and authorized the purchase of 
about ten and one-half acres for $2,100, with the proviso that if the 
College could get a little more land on the highway, it would pay 
$2,800. As a result of further negotiations, the actual purchase com- 
prised some eleven and a half acres and the price paid was $2,300. 
The purchase was made by the Charity Fund. 


We have seen that the meetinghouse of the Amherst West Parish 
stood on or near the site of the present Octagon when the College was 
founded, and that in the early years the students attended daily and 
Sunday services there. It must soon have seemed to the members of 
the church that it was too close to a growing college for the comfort 
of either. When the College had acquired the Parsons homestead, it 
offered the members of the West Parish the land on the corner of 
South Pleasant Street and Northampton Road for a new meetinghouse 
and, in addition, offered to contribute $700 to the church in return 
for the right to use the new meetinghouse for its annual Commencement 
exercises. The offer was accepted by the church on January 8, 1828. 
The meetinghouse on the site of the Octagon was taken down, which 
was a clear gain for both the College and the town, for the early prints 
indicate a building without any particular charm. The present College 
Hall was built on the corner site as the meetinghouse of the West 
Parish. It was completed in the summer of 1829 at a cost of $7,000. 
The money for the building was raised mostly by the sale of pews. 
Nearly forty years later the College bought the building from the parish 
for Si 0,000 and renamed it College Hall. But that story must await 
its proper place. In an early painting by Mrs. Hitchcock, wife of 
President Hitchcock, which now hangs on the walls of the president's 
office, we see South College and the early meetinghouse, the only 
buildings on college hill. 

By 1830 the Prudential Committee were ready to make some im- 
provements in the access to the college buildings. They asked the treas- 
urer to ascertain the expense of flagging the walks within "the college 
yard," and they directed him to "erect a fence in front of the college 
lot in the course of the next week." As a protection to the buildings, 
they decided to require students to leave all college buildings at the 
end of the college year so that "the buildings could be securely closed 
during the vacation." They realized that roads of access were necessary 
and they asked the treasurer to confer with the selectmen and make a 
layout of roads to the college buildings both from the north and the 
south, including the lowering of the hill between the roads. And they 
asked the selectmen to arrange "for the prevention of further injiu-y to 
the hill by the removal of the soil therefrom for the private use of the 
inhabitants." The grading done by the students in 1827, which had 
won the praise and appreciation of the trustees, had proved inadequate 
and the Committee asked the treasurer and secretary to get estimates 
for a more finished grading plan about the college buildings. 

By 1 834 the College felt it necessary to sell some of the land it had 
recently acquired and which it did not actually need for college pur- 

poses. The treasurer and Luke Sweetser and General Mack were ap- 
pointed a committee to divide the land on Northampton Road "west 
of the bridge" into building lots and to sell them. The following year 
Sweetser and Professor Hitchcock were appointed a committee for pav- 
ing with flat stones the walk in front of the chapel. 

Luke Sweetser, a native of Athol, came to Amherst in 1 82 1 , and for 
many years was the leading merchant of the town. He was a member 
of the Prudential Committee every year from 1833 until 1864, nearly 
a third of a century. During the entire period of his service he was 
secretary of the committee, and kept the records excellently. In fact, 
the records of this important committee cease at his resignation. For 
most of the time he was the executive agent of the committee. He 
was a member of most of the building committees during his term of 
office, and usually the most active member. He retired from the Pru- 
dential Committee at his own request in 1 864, and two years later, on 
the resignation of Lucius Boltwood as commissioner of the Charity 
Fund, he was elected to succeed him. He served in this new office 
until 1877 when the offices of commissioner of the Charity Fund and 
treasurer of the College were combined in William Austin Dickinson. 
Tyler, who knew him well, remarks that "among all the official con- 
nected with Amherst College, there is none in the wisdom and fidelity 
of whose administration more general confidence is reposed than in 
that of Mr. Sweetser." His home was on the site now occupied by the 
Phi Gamma Delta fraternity house. 

General Mack was a member of the Board from 1 836 to 1 854. David 
Mack ( 1 778-1854) was born in Middlefield and prepared for college 
at Winsor Hill, but eye trouble made it necessary for him to give up a 
college education. After twenty years as a merchant in Middlefield, 
he moved to Amherst in 1 834. He served in both houses of the legisla- 
ture and on the Governor's Council. In 181 2 he commanded the 
Massachusetts militia in Boston. During his eighteen years of service 
on the Amherst Board, he was one of the most active members. He 
served for most of the time on the Prudential Committee, and was a 
member of most of the building committees. 

A succession of illnesses in the family of President Humphrey created 
the impression that the president's house, built in 1821 for President 
Moore near the site of the present Psi U house, was damp and unhealthy. 
And a member of the Board pressed the matter on the attention of his 
colleagues by saying that unless they wished to "lay their president 
and his family in yonder graveyard," they must provide him with 
healthier living quarters. At the meeting of the Board on August 21, 
1832, the Board voted to authorize the sale of the former president's 


house and the erection of a new home for the president on the Parsons 
lot recently acquired by the College, with the stipulation that the exact 
location of the house to be built should first be approved by at least 
seven of the trustees. Apparently no action was taken under this vote, 
for the following year (October 15, 1833) the Board authorized the 
Prudential Committee to examine the subscriptions to the new fund 
being raised and the present debts of the College; if, in their opinion, 
there was a balance above the debts, the Committee was authorized to 
sell the existing president's house and erect a new one to cost not more 
than $5,000 in excess of the proceeds of the sale of the former house. 
The Building Committee comprised the president, Treasurer Leland, 
and Luke Sweetser. 

The present president's house was built by Colonel Warren S. How- 
land of Amherst and cost some $9,000. The former president's house 
was sold to Professor Fowler for $2,500. He furred out the walls and 
made the house entirely dry and livable. President Humphrey was in 
Europe while the new house was being built, and when the bills for 
construction came in, no one could be found who wished to assume 
responsibility for having authorized them. The new house was in gen- 
eral outline like the house today. The ell was of wood; there was no 
central heating; there were no bathrooms; and the present large hallway 
on the first floor with the Bulfinch stairway was a later addition. 

Mrs. King and I lived in the president's house for fourteen years. 
We were deeply fond of it. It is, I think, the finest president's house of 
any of the old New England colleges. A distinguished overseer of 
Harvard University, who was our house guest, considered it finer than 
the new president's house at Harvard, built in the administration of 
President Lowell. I remember one autumn when we were entertaining 
the presidents of the thirteen New England colleges, members of the 
New England Association, that Mrs. King was showing the house to 
President Sills of Bowdoin. As they looked down the long, double 
parlors from the dining room, she remarked that the house had been 
built in days which were very dark financially for Amherst. "How 
fortunate for you," said President Sills, "that the president's house 
was not built when the College was prosperous." 

With the completion of the president's house in 1 835, the building 
program of the founders of the College came to an end. The land to 
the south of South College had been graded in preparation for the 
fifth building in the plan adopted by the trustees. In the minutes of 
the Prudential Committee of November 28, 1827, is a resolution "that 
the new college building to be erected on the south side of the present 
college buildings be constructed upon the plan recommended by Pro- 

fessor Olmsted on file." But funds were not available, and the site 
was not used until nearly thirty years later, when Appleton was erected 
on this site from plans drawn by Henry A. Sykes of Springfield. Olm- 
sted's plan was, therefore, not used, and we have no record of what it 
comprised. Professor Olmsted was probably Denison Olmsted, LL.D., 
Professor of Astronomy in Yale, with whom Professor Ebenezer S. Snell 
of Amherst had collaborated in An Introduction to Astronomy for the Use 
of Students in College, which went into a number of editions. 

The student body had grown steadily from fifty-nine in the first year 
to two hundred fifty- nine in 1836. Only Yale among the New England 
colleges was larger. Then a decline set in and in a few years enrollment 
had dropped to one hundred and eighteen, a drop of over fifty per cent. 
Expenses of operating the College exceeded income year after year and 
the institution was rapidly bleeding to death. It was faced with bank- 
ruptcy. President Humphrey was unable to bring his budget into bal- 
ance, and, finally, at a special meeting of the Board in Worcester in 
January 1844, the Board accepted his resignation. He was sixty- five 
years old. At the same meeting the Board voted to present him with 
one thousand dollars in addition to his salary. 

Heman Humphrey had been president of the College for twenty-one 
years. He had never been a popular president, as his predecessor, 
Dr. Moore, had been. From contemporary records it is clear that Moore 
was profoundly interested in education and in young men. He was 
firm in his actions, but sympathetic and approachable with the stu- 
dents. On his death the student body, as we have seen, felt that the 
College had come to an end so far as they were concerned. Humphrey's 
two main interests seem to have been pious orthodoxy and total absti- 
nence in the use of alcohol and tobacco, both admirable for a pastor, 
but neither of them likely to arouse the enthusiasm of college under- 
graduates. In 1 810 he published what is thought to be the first temper- 
ance tract. In 1 830 he published a volume of essays on the Sabbath, 
and after his retirement he published Sketches of the History of Revivals. 
He had, of course, other published works, including many sermons and 

Professor Edward Hitchcock, Jr., "Old Doc" to generations of Am- 
herst students who loved him, remarks in an unpublished notebook that 
"President Humphrey was an austere man. Old style Puritan in his 
life. He was righteous & solid, but not complacent or approachable. 
It is said of him that very often when a student was ushered into his 
study, if he was not entirely at leisure, he would, instantly the man 
opened the door, say 'What do you want,' without the courtesy of 
inviting him to a chair. And while he was thoroughly respected as an 


official, he was not what we would call a popular president!" "Mrs. 
Humphrey, too, was not an attractive person to children," adds Old 
Doc, who ought to have known, for he grew up in a neighboring house 
on South Pleasant Street, 

The resignation of President Humphrey marks the end of the period 
of the founders. All of the early trustees had died or retired, with the 
exception of Dr. Vaill, who seems to have been indestructible. The 
program of building initiated by the founders had come to an end ten 
years earlier. And John Leland, the first treasurer, who had been on 
the Building Committee and who had acted as agent for each of the 
committees except the first, had himself resigned from office in 1835. 
The new president's house was his last building. He had been succeeded 
by Edward Dickinson, son of one of the founders and a member of the 
first junior class in the College. 

Johnson Chapel and North, South, and Middle Colleges, and the 
president's house had a capacity of well over a million cubic feet. 
They had cost, in the dollars of that early day, about $55,000. To ap- 
preciate how great an undertaking had been brought to fruition by 
the founders, we must translate the dollars of 1825 into the dollars of 
1950. It is, I think, fair to say that these buildings, even without 
plumbing, heating, and lighting, would represent a present cost of 
nearly a $1,000,000. 

Before we conclude the story of building operations of the founders 
of the College, we must consider the financial and business background 
of the country in the decade of 1820 when the buildings were built. 
The country was in the trough of the depression following the Crisis 
of 1 81 9. Twenty thousand men were out of work in Philadelphia and 
a similar situation prevailed in New York. Thirty trades, which had 
employed 9,672 in 181 6, now employed only 2,137 in 181 9. The papers 
were filled with advertisements of sheriff's sales. Stagnation and distress 
lasted throughout 1820. Rents fell in some cases sixty per cent; fuel 
dropped from Si 2 to S5.50; flour, from Sio to $4.50. 

During 1821 the stagnation and liquidation continued. There was a 
slight recovery in the early months of 1822, but a reaction in the 
autumn was severe. The year 1824 was a year of expansion and re- 
covery, followed by the Crisis of 1825. The year 1826 was another year 
of distress and reaction. 

It was against this background that the founders of Amherst built 
the early college plant. Money was hard to get, but prices of labor and 
materials were at a low level. It was, of course, an excellent time to 

It is interesting to compare the building program of the founders of 


Amherst with the building program carried on by Harvard College at 
about the same time. There were only two colleges in Massachusetts 
when Amherst was founded — Harvard and Williams. Williams Col- 
lege, as we have seen, was going through a difficult period in its history 
just at this time. Harvard College was still a small college, although it 
had been founded nearly two centuries before. 

There are now three buildings in the Harvard Yard which were 
erected in the early years of the nineteenth century: Stoughton Hall 
built in 1805, Holworthy Hall built in 181 2, and University Hall built 
in 1 81 5. Stoughton was built as a dormitory, at a cost of $23,000, and 
the money came in part from the proceeds of a public lottery. It was 
named for William Stoughton of the class of 1650, the first Harvard 
alumnus to give a building to his alma mater, and known to history 
as the judge who presided at the Salem witchcraft trials. Charles Bul- 
finch, who had designed the State House in Boston, was the architect. 

Holworthy Hall was the first "modern" dormitory at Harvard, and 
was originally called Holworthy College. Its cost was $25,000, and it 
too was paid for from funds raised in a public lottery authorized by 
the state. 

University Hall, still one of Harvard's finest buildings, was built of 
white Chelmsford granite and designed by Charles Bulfinch. Its original 
cost of $65,000 was paid by a grant from the state treasury. It originally 
contained the college chapel, the college dining rooms (one for each 
class), classrooms, and a chemistry laboratory. It corresponded, there- 
fore, with our Johnson Chapel. 

Harvard's two dormitories plus University Hall thus cost about 
$113,000, and the money came half from the state treasury and less 
than half from lotteries authorized by the state. Amherst's two dormi- 
tories plus Johnson Chapel cost a total of about $32,000, and the 
money came from the voluntary gifts of the townspeople, from the 
churches in the small towns, and one-eighth of the total from the be- 
quest of Adam Johnson, the Pelham farmer. Harvard had, and could 
afford to have, the best architect of the day, Charles Bulfinch, who at 
about the same time laid out the plan for the Harvard Yard. Amherst 
spent $25 for consultation with Isaac Damon of Northampton on the 
plans for the Chapel, and built North and South without benefit of 
professional advice. 

It is an interesting contrast, both in building costs and in fund raising. 
And we may note without apology that Johnson Chapel and North 
and South are today appropriate symbols of Amherst and its history. 


Chapter III 

When Cheops built the great pyramid some five millennia ago, I 
have no doubt that some of his courtiers, while paying due homage in 
public to the magnificence of his edifice, shook their heads in private 
and wished that their sovereign had conceived a more "modern" design 
for his tomb. For men have always had a great interest in the erection 
of new structures and have exercised their critical faculties in imagining 
how they would have built them if they had been in charge. When the 
founders of Amherst carried through their formidable program of 
building between 1821 and 1835, when College Row in which today 
we take such pride was in process of erection, one among the "sidewalk 
superintendents" of the day made note of his criticisms and later put 
them into print for all to read. But his comments at the time were 
probably more pungent than the written record he later made. His 
name was Edward Hitchcock, and he was at the time professor of 
chemistry and natural science at Amherst College. 

Edward Hitchcock was born in Deerfield in 1 793 and had a common 
school education. He had hoped to go to Harvard, but serious trouble 
with his eyes made it necessary for him to forego a college education. 
Through an uncle he became greatly interested in science, and he spent 
his evenings after his work on a farm in the study of astronomy. When 
he was twenty-two, he became principal of Deerfield Academy, and 
served for three years. At twenty-eight he was ordained as pastor of 
the church in Conway. At thirty-two he was appointed to the Amherst 
faculty at a salary of $700 a year. His appointment by the Board was 
made at the first annual meeting after the granting of the college 
charter in 1825, and the Board voted to allow him such time off during 
his first year "as necessary on account of his want of health." He was 
in fact always in poor health. Hitchcock used his leave during this 
first year to study geology at Yale under Professor Silliman, the leading 
geologist of the day; and this brief residence at Yale was all the formal 
education on the college level that Edward Hitchcock ever had. The 
rest he taught himself. He became in 1830 the first state geologist of 

Massachusetts, and in 1841 the state published his monumental Final 
Report on the Geology of Alassachiisetts in a quarto volume of eight hundred 
and thirty-one pages of text and fifty-one full-page plates, together 
with maps and illustrations, a copy of which is one of my prized posses- 
sions. In 1 845, on the resignation of President Humphrey, Hitchcock 
was, on the nomination of the faculty, elected the third president of 
Amherst College. He served as president for nine years, saved the 
College from bankruptcy and extinction, and is now regarded (with 
Seelye) as one of the two great presidents the College has ever had. 

Before we consider the buildings erected on the campus under Hitch- 
cock's leadership, we must note his comments on the building program 
of the founders of the College. He didn't like it, and he said so with 
some vigor. He was never one to conceal his disapproval for reasons of 
diplomacy or taste. He was seldom suaviter in mode, though usually 
for titer in re. 

Of the three dormitories — North, South, and Middle Colleges — 
he remarks, "It [South] is without architectural ornament. Indeed I 
doubt whether any architect of judgment and taste was consulted. 
This was unfortunate, as the pattern thus started was followed by the 
two next dormitory buildings and the College Chapel. Hence they 
form an unsightly row of bricks and mortar — mere hollow parallele- 
pipeds divided into compartments called rooms. Had some architectural 
taste been exhibited in the first building, it would have been copied, 
and almost without any additional expense. But to prepare men for 
the Christian ministry was the grand object, and everything not essen- 
tial to this was conscientiously avoided. It was not until the erection of 
the Woods Cabinet [the Octagon] in 1 848, that an exhibition of good 
taste in the buildings where young men are educated, was thought 
promotive of the main object instead of needless waste." 

Of College Hall he said, "This also was constructed with such a sad 
want of taste, that it has ever been a byeword and a butt of ridicule." 

Of Johnson Chapel, "It was unfortunate . . . that the plan of this 
building did not pass under the eye of some competent and responsible 

Of the president's house, "The new house is indeed large, commodi- 
ous, and in good architectural proportions. But in my judgment its 
location is not near as good for a president's house as that of the old 
one [on the site of the present Psi U house]. It is too near the College, 
and overlooks it too much, and is too much overlooked by the College. 
For a president should not be obliged to see every small impropriety 
of students, because he must notice them all; and this will be apt to 
awaken prejudice against him. ... I have, therefore, always regarded 


the building of this new house as unfortunate, although done from 
the very best of motives." 

And the grading to the west of College Row also met his disapproval, 
for he adds that "If a landscape gardener had been consulted, he 
probably would not have advised the grading." 

Hitchcock was critical of the founders not only as to their aesthetic 
judgment in design and materials, but on a major question of building 
policy. He did not believe in building dormitories. "I doubt the ex- 
pediency," he says, "of the very common practice of laying out large 
sums for dormitory buildings in founding a new college. For almost 
any of our country villages, even one as small as Amherst, could easily 
furnish comfortable rooms enough for students to study and sleep in." 
His reasons were not purely the financial investment involved in hous- 
ing the students in college buildings. He founded his judgment on the 
moral aspect of the question. "I know that the impression prevails 
widely," he said, "that it is far safer to the morals of students to have 
them congregated in large dormitory buildings than to be scattered 
through the community. I must say that my own observation for many 
years does not sustain such an opinion, but rather the reverse." He 
would have liked to have had the students scattered in "good Christian 
homes" in the village. 

Harvard's early experience was the opposite. The Harvard Corpora- 
tion a little earlier had erected an additional dormitory, because stu- 
dents who lived with private families were "less orderly and well regu- 
lated than those within the walls." 

It would be difficult to find in college annals anywhere a more com- 
plete and outright criticism by a college president of the judgment 
exercised by his predecessors in the development of the college plant. 

Edward Hitchcock was, however, not a president who was opposed 
to the use of college funds for the enlargement of the plant. On the 
contrary, one of his first plans on assuming the presidency in April 
1845 was for a new building. In January 1846, he was in Cambridge 
to attend the inauguration of Edward Everett as president of Harvard 
College, and after the inauguration he found time to call on David 
Sears, the wealthy Boston philanthropist, to enlist his support for a 
science building for the College. Hitchcock, as a scientist, felt the need 
of such a building, and he had persuaded Professor Charles U. Shep- 
ard, who had been appointed as his successor on the faculty, to deposit 
his important scientific collection with the College, provided a fireproof 
building were erected to house it. 

Sears was not interested and Hitchcock returned to Amherst dis- 
couraged. On the journey he met Josiah B. Woods of Enfield, and told 

him that he had decided never to ask anybody for another dollar. 
Mr. Woods encouraged him and told him that he would attempt to 
raise the money for such a building. The Boai'd, in August 1846, voted 
to erect "a cabinet of natural history & an astronomical observatory" 
of fireproof construction, provided $5,000 could be raised by sub- 
scription. The Board voted, in addition, that the Stone Fund should 
be appropriated for the purpose, if needed, in case the full $5,000 was 
raised by subscription. 

The Stone Fund had come to the College as a legacy from Samuel 
Stone of Townsend. It had originally amounted to $500, and under 
the terms of the gift it was to be used for the erection of a new building, 

Josiah Woods, with the help of the president, succeeded in raising 
$8,437, including the Stone Fund. The list of subscribers is incised in 
the simple slab of white marble in the hallway of the Octagon, and is 
as follows: 

Abbott Lawrence of Boston $ i ,000 

Samuel Stone of Townsend 920 

John Tappan of Boston 300 

Andrew W. Porter of Monson 500 

Richard P. Waters of Salem 300 

John Dickinson of Amherst 250 

James T. Ames of Cabotville 250 

Justin Ely of West Springfield 200 

Thomas Bond of Springfield 200 

Ichabod Washburn of Worcester 200 

Daniel Safford of Boston 200 

Samuel Lawrence of Lowell 200 

Wells Southworth of West Springfield 200 

Oliver M. Whipple of Lowell 200 

E. B. Bigelow of Lowell 200 

Samuel Williston of Easthampton 200 

Alexander DeWitt of Oxford 200 

Samuel A. Hitchcock of Brimfield 200 

George H. Gilbert of Ware 200 

Enos Dickinson of Amherst 200 

Luke Sweetser of Amherst 200 

Josiah B. Woods of Enfield 400 

Phelps, Dodge & Co. of New York 200 

Henry A. Sykes of Springfield 150 

George Gill of New Haven 150 

William W. Stone of Boston lOO 

Joseph Avery of Conway 100 

Charles U. Shepard of New Haven 100 

Joseph Walker of New York 100 


Robert Cutler of Amherst $ioo 

William B. Godfrey of Amherst i oo 

William C. Anderson of New York loo 

Alfred Edwards of New York 50 

Gerard Hallock of New York 50 

Samuel Worcester of Salem 50 

Aaron Warner of Amherst 50 

Edward Dickinson of Amherst ' 50 

William Dickinson of Worcester 50 

John Leland of Amherst 50 

J. S. & C. Adams of Amherst 50 

Thomas Jones of Amherst 50 

Leonard M. Hills of Amherst 25 

William Kellogg of Amherst 25 

John Sanford of Amherst 1 7 

For the first time the College was receiving gifts fi^om the substantial 
citizens of Boston, Salem, Lowell, and Worcester, 

There were fourteen gifts from Amherst men: ten were townspeople; 
Warner was a member of the faculty; Shepard was a member of the 
faculty and an alumnus; Dickinson was treasurer; Leland, former treas- 
urer. Two of the donors were trustees: Williston and Tappan. Sweetser 
was secretary of the Board. Bond and Porter were overseers; Josiah 
Woods was later to become an overseer. 

The method Woods used in raising the money is interesting. He 
went first to Abbott Lawrence and other men of like standing in the 
eastern part of the state, and told them that it was a disgrace for a 
leader of science in America like Dr. Hitchcock to slave and starve in 
Amherst. When they inquired whether he was not overrating the abili- 
ties of Hitchcock, he told them that he had himself heard Charles 
Lyell, the distinguished British geologist, say that Hitchcock knew more 
geology and could tell it better than any other man he had met on 
this side of the ocean. Then he insisted on bringing Hitchcock down to 
call on them. Lawrence was convinced and thereupon led off with a 
subscription of a thousand dollars, and the remainder was soon raised. 

The campaign had an interesting by-product. The interest aroused 
in the College among influential men in Boston removed some of the 
obstacles to securing a grant-in-aid from the legislature, 

Abbott Lawrence (i 792-1 855) was born in Groton where his father 
had been one of the founders of the academy. He became a partner, 
with his brother Amos, in founding the firm of A. & A. Lawrence 
& Co., which became one of the greatest mercantile houses of the day. 
On his brother's retirement, he became president. He promoted various 

New England railways, notably the Boston & Albany. The town of 
Lawrence was named for him. He served two terms in Congress, was 
one of the commissioners for Massachusetts who settled with Lord 
Ashburton the question of the northeast boundary. He declined both 
the secretaryship of the Navy and of the Interior in President Taylor's 
Cabinet, but later served as United States Minister to Great Britain, 
At about the time that he made this generous gift of Si ,000 to Amherst, 
he gave $50,000 to Harvard to found the Lawrence Scientific School, a 
gift which was regarded at the time as the largest ever given to educa- 
tion during a donor's lifetime. In 1854, after his return from London, 
he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws by Harvard. 
His younger brother, Samuel, gave S200 toward the Woods Cabinet. 
A gossipy chronicler of that day remarks that "perhaps no family in 
New England has acquired property with greater rapidity and more 
uniform good fortune." Abbott Lawrence was reputed to be worth 
$2,000,000, and his brothers were said to be worth $1,000,000 each. 
The chronicler adds that Abbott Lawrence "is also dyspeptic," which 
must have constituted a bond with Hitchcock who suffered from this 
ailment most of his life. 

Another Boston man in the list of donors is William W. Stone who 
was engaged in manufacturing enterprises in Lowell, "was a great 
pillar of the Orthodox Church," and was said to have a comfortable 
fortune of $200,000. 

Josiah B. Woods was neither a trustee nor an overseer when he ren- 
dered this signal service to the College. He was later to serve on the 
Building Committee for both the building for which he had raised the 
funds and Barrett Gymnasium. He became an overseer of the Charity 
Fund in 1 850, and he later still gave a fund for the Woods Prize which 
is still awarded at Commencement. He was a businessman with im- 
portant business connections in Boston. 

The Board appointed as a Building Committee President Hitchcock, 
Samuel Williston of Easthampton, Josiah B. Woods of Enfield, General 
Mack of Amherst, and Deacon Porter of Monson. Williston had made 
a large fortune in the manufacture of buttons in Easthampton, had 
been elected to the Amherst Board by the legislature in 1841 and 
served continuously for a third of a century. I have told his story in my 
History of the Endowment of Amherst College. 

David Mack (i 778-1854) we have already met in an earlier chapter. 

Deacon Porter of Monson, as he was always known, was Andrew 
Wood Porter. He was a member of the Board of Overseers from 1 842 
until 1864. He was for a long time the treasurer and the steward of 
Mount Holyoke Seminary, which he loved and provided for "as a 


darling child," and he was generous both in time and money to Am- 
herst. He and my grandfather were neighbors and friends. 

It was a strong Building Committee, but it is clear that it was domi- 
nated by the president, and properly so, as the suggestion had come 
from him, the money had been given because of his distinction as a scien- 
tist, and as a scientist he would determine its use as a scientific cabinet. 

The Committee selected as architect Henry A, Sykes of Springfield. 
Sykes, like many of his profession at the time, was both an architect 
and a contractor. Hitchcock describes him as "a man of consistent 
piety, of good taste, and thorough acquaintance with his profession." 
The order in which the qualifications are given is significant. Hitchcock 
has recorded the instructions he gave the architect, which, I suppose, 
are the most unusual ever given to an architect for the College. "I 
said to him," records Hitchcock, "I want you should make both the 
Cabinet and the Observatory octagonal, and of such dimensions as 
you can with the money we have on hand, taking care not to leave us a 
cent in debt. Adapt the building to the shape, size, and position of the 
hill, and give it such a form that other buildings can be added to it 
hereafter, without marring the plan." 

The building was begun in the summer of 1847 and carried forward 
with dispatch. The supervision of the work in progress was undertaken 
by General Mack and Luke Sweetser of the Committee, though one 
may be sure that no detail escaped the watchful eye of the president. 
The walls were of brick covered with stucco both inside and outside. 
The building was fireproof in accordance with the standards of the 
day. The woodwork was done by Robert Cutler of Amherst and the 
stucco by George Gill of New Haven. Cutler, as we have seen, had 
contributed Si 00 to the fund for the building, and Gill Si 50. 

Hitchcock remarks that in attempting to combine a natural history 
cabinet and an astronomical observatory, the Committee could find 
no example to inspect and study. But he adds that "the architect has 
succeeded admirably; not only in securing the scientific objects, but 
also in retaining to a degree almost defying criticism, the finest archi- 
tectural proportions." The second floor was supported on four large 
iron pillars; the doors were of iron, weighing nearly half a ton each, 
and were made at the factory of James Ames at Cabotsville. Mr. Ames 
was a contributor of $250 to the fund for the building. 

The original building included only the octagonal tower and the 
two-story cabinet. The one-story octagonal room now at the west end 
of the Octagon and the wooden wing at the east were later additions. 

Meanwhile the College had received other gifts of greater magnitude: 
the Williston Professorship of S20,ooo, the Hitchcock Professorship of 

$20,ooo (given by Samuel A. Hitchcock of Brimfield), the Graves Pro- 
fessorship of $20,000, the grant from the Commonwealth of $25,000, 
and the Sears Foundation of Literature and Benevolence. Williston 
had given only $2 00 to the building fund, and Samuel A. Hitchcock 
had given a similar amount. But their endowment of the first professor- 
ships at the College had been generous, and had, in fact, turned the 
tide which had been ebbing for a decade. 

At the annual meeting of the Board in August 1 847, a Committee 
was appointed "to consider in what manner we should testify our 
gratitude to God and our benefactors, in view of recent favors to the 
College." There is a poignancy in the minutes of this meeting, at which 
the Board realized that the College which had been founded with such 
high hopes and in such complete confidence that the undertaking would 
receive the blessing of Divine Providence, and which had so nearly 
become bankrupt, was now saved to carry on its high purpose. The 
Committee reported that "at such time as the president and professors 
shall regard as suitable, a public meeting be held in Amherst, with an 
invitation to the friends and benefactors of the College to be present, 
and that Hon. William B. Calhoun be requested to deliver an address 
on the occasion." 

Calhoun was a graduate of Yale and a leading lawyer in Springfield. 
He had already served ten years in the legislature, the last two years 
as Speaker, and then entered Congress. He was a trustee of the College 
from 1829 until 1865. In 1858 the College conferred on him the hon- 
orary degree of Doctor of Laws. 

The meeting was deferred until June 28, 1848, in order that the 
cabinet and observatory might be completed and the cabinet filled 
with the scientific collections of the College. The president opened the 
meeting with an address of welcome and of gratitude to God and the 
benefactors. Mr. Calhoun in his address said: "The waning fortunes of 
this Institution have for years brought to our hearts gloom, despondency, 
almost despair. Heaven again beams upon us with blessings. To heaven 
let us not cease to offer the incense of thanksgiving." 

The president then called for brief addresses by Governor Armstrong 
(trustee from 1834 to 1850), Josiah Woods, Samuel Williston, Professor 
Silliman of Yale, Professor Shepard of Amherst, William C. Redfield, 
and President Wheeler of the University of Vermont. Letters were 
read from others who could not be present. 

Samuel Turell Armstrong (i 784-1850) served an apprenticeship as 
a printer in Boston, and then set up his own establishment. He was 
uncommonly successful, "made a fortune out of Scott's Bible," and 
retired as a relatively young man after accumulating a fortune esti- 


mated at $200,000. He served in the legislature, as lieutenant governor, 
as acting governor, and as mayor of Boston. Governor Armstrong was 
one of the few public men in Boston at the time who was an orthodox 
Congregationalist, as most of the leaders had gone over to Unitarianism. 

It was a day of jubilee, celebrating the deliverance of the College 
from overwhelming debt after a quarter century of struggle. To those 
who know at first hand the early history of the College, no building, 
with the possible exception of South College, had as profound and 
poignant an emotional connotation. Tyler, writing a quarter century 
later, entered his "public protest against any hasty or needless removal 
of this building." And I confess that when, a half century after Tyler's 
comment, I came to know intimately the buildings of the College in 
the 1 920's, I never entered the Octagon without a feeling of reverence 
for the white marble tablet in the hallway which records in stark 
simplicity the deliverance of the College. 

The cabinet was named by the Board the Woods Cabinet, in honor 
of Josiah Woods, and the observatory was named the Lawrence Ob- 
servatory, in honor of Abbott Lawrence, who had made the largest 
single contribution. While the building has long been known as the 
Octagon, and while this name is too firmly embedded in tradition to 
change, I caused the name, "Woods Cabinet," to be placed on the 
main entrance when we made extensive changes in the interior a few 
years ago. Josiah Woods deserves to be remembered by Amherst Col- 
lege and Amherst men. 

President Hitchcock must have been not a little surprised at the 
public response to his architectural innovation, which his son, Charles 
Henry Hitchcock, later a distinguished professor of geology, describes 
as the "Yankee Order of Architecture." For the president remarked 
that when the building was finished, "some of our good friends who 
have never seen the architecture of Europe, were greatly scandalized 
because the building had so many angles, and its longer axis or front 
was not perpendicular to the face of the row of buildings behind, but 
quite oblique, conforming to the crest of the hill." 

He adds, "But gentlemen who have studied the architecture of 
Europe, and the effect of form and position, have again and again 
expressed to me their admiration for this building in connection with 
its surroundings. Nor will future additions to this pile detract from 
its harmony and beauty, if made by a skillful architect. This is the 
first building on the College Hill that showed anything like architectural 
symmetry and effect, except the president's house. It is no wonder that 
it should greatly disturb the ideas of a man whose highest notion of 
architectural beauty is a right angle and a parallelopiped." The presi- 

dent believed that the best defense was a spirited attack on the narrow 
ideas of his critics, and he put his position squarely on the record for 
possible critics in future generations. 

Where did this distinguished scientist, this savant whose reputation 
extended across the ocean to Europe, acquire his ideas of architecture? 
Not from Sykes, the Springfield architect, for he told Sykes what type 
of exterior design he wished and expected to have. And not from 
European travel, for he did not go abroad until late in life. 

Happily, we know the answer, and the answer makes an interesting 
story in itself. He took his architecture direct from Orson Squire 
Fowler, who had graduated from Amherst College in the class of 1 834, 
and who spent his life in writing and publishing. He wrote on phrenol- 
ogy, matrimony (he married three times), education, architecture, 
heredity, and human science. He published twenty-one books on 
phrenology, thirty books on the hydropathic water cure, ten books on 
mesmerism and psychology, six books on phonography, twenty-two 
books on psychology, and nineteen books on miscellaneous subjects, 
including immortality, labor, wages, population, women's education, 
and the power of kindness. His interest in phrenology he communi- 
cated to his distinguished classmate, Henry Ward Beecher, and Beecher 
gave the subject much public advertising. 

Architecture was, however, one of the main interests of the dis- 
cursive Fowler. He early became convinced that the octagonal form 
was desirable in construction, both for reasons of economy and for 
reasons of health. He built a large house for his own occupancy on the 
Hudson River in Fishkill in the octagonal form. He experimented 
with various adaptations of material to this form. And finally he pub- 
lished the definitive work on the subject. Let me quote the title page 
of the 1854 edition, which we have at the College: 





Adapted to Rich and Poor 


O. S. Fowler 

Author of Various Works on Phrenology 

"There's No Place Like Home" 

New York 

Fowler & Wells Publishers 

131 Nassau Street 



While the first edition of the book, in 1849, did not appear until 
two years after the erection of the Woods Cabinet, Fowler had been 
publicizing his ideas on the subject for many years. And President 
Hitchcock not only adopted Fowler's program for the first college 
building he built: he added an octagonal structure to his own home on 
South Pleasant Street, the present Kingman house, which stands to- 
day. Here and there in New England and New York one still comes 
upon houses built in the octagonal form as recommended by Fowler. 

Hitchcock had installed in the Woods Cabinet the scientific collec- 
tions of the College. These were already notable. In the same year, 
1 848, the College published A Popular Description of the New Cabinet and 
Astronomical Observatory for the Use of Visitors. While it was published 
anonymously, we know from his son that Hitchcock prepared it. It 
is an amazing document of twenty large pages of fine print in double 
columns. Here we can do little more than note the different collections 
which our distinguished scientific faculty had brought together. They 
are listed and described in the following order: 


Rocks of Continental Europe 

600 specimens 


Rocks of England 



Missionary Collection, chiefly from 

Asia about 

1,200 " 


Collection from the West Indies 


Rocks of the United States 



Rocks of Massachusetts 


Rocks of Connecticut 


Rocks of Vermont over 

1,200 " 


Fossils of the Paris Basin 



Polished Marbles, Alabasters, Porphy- 

ries &c. 


1 1. 

Organic Remains from Europe 



Fossil Footmarks and Rain Drops 



The Shepard Collection of Astrolithol- 



The Shepard Collection of Mineralogy 


The Shepard Collection of Geology 


Zoological Collection of Mammals, 
Birds, Reptiles, Fishes 


Molluscs from Jamaica 10,000 " 


Insects 10,000 " 






100 " 



1,000 " 



250 fossils 


The Amherst science faculty at this period included four extraor- 
dinary men: Hitchcock, who served the College from 1825 until 1864; 
Charles U. Shepard, who served from 1845 until 1877; Charles Baker 
Adams, who served from 1847 until his untimely death from yellow 
fever in the Virgin Islands in 1853; and Ebenezer Snell, who served 
from 1825 until 1876. Three were graduates of the College: Snell in 
the class of 1822, Shepard in the class of 1824, and Adams in the class 
of 1834. Snell's reputation was primarily as a teacher. Hitchcock, 
Shepard, and Adams were widely known for their original investigations. 

Adams' collection of molluscs was acquired by the College on his 
death, and was recognized by Louis Agassiz as the outstanding collec- 
tion of the time. As Amherst had no scientist in this field in later 
years, the College deposited the collection in 1942 on loan to the 
Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. In 1950 Harvard pub- 
lished a scholarly study and catalogue by William Clench and Ruth D. 
Turner, entitled C. B. Adams — Western Atlantic Marine Shells. 

Hitchcock and his colleagues continued to enlarge the scientific col- 
lections of the College. In 1853 Professor Edward Hitchcock, Jr. ("Old 
Doc"), presented the College with a collection of Indian relics which 
he later enlarged to contain some eleven hundred items. In the same 
year President Hitchcock gave the College his unique collection of 
fossil footmarks which Professor Shepard had appraised at $3,500. 
Writing in 1863, President Hitchcock estimated the value of the col- 
lections owned by the College at about $35,000 and the value of Pro- 
fessor Shepard's collection deposited with the College at $50,000. 

Two years after the dedication of the Woods Cabinet, a movement 
was started to provide the College with an adequate building for a 
library. In 1844 David Sears had established the Sears Foundation of 
Literature and Benevolence and the deed of gift required that a part 
of the income be expended each year for the purchase of books. At 
about the same time, John Tappan, a trustee from 1833 till 1854, 
gave $4,000 for the same purpose. I have told the story of Sears and 
Tappan in my History of the Endowment of the College and need not 
repeat it here. 

Then, in 1 850, three friends of the College in Salem held an informal 
meeting and decided to start a subscription for a library building. 
They were led by Judge Jonathan C. Perkins of the class of 1832. 
Perkins (i 809-1 877) after his graduation studied law with Rufus 
Choate, with Leverett Saltonstall, and at the Harvard Law School. 
He practiced his profession in Salem, served in the legislature, and 
later as a judge. He was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1850 
till 1877. In 1867 the College conferred upon him the honorary degree 


of Doctor of Laws. The others who participated in the meeting were 
Richard P. Waters of Salem, who had contributed $300 to the fund 
for the Woods Cabinet, and Judge Huntington. At about the same 
time George Merriam of Springfield, one of the founders of the firm 
which for a hundred years has published Webster's Dictionary, sub- 
scribed $1,500 for the same purpose. 

Bela B. Edwards brought the matter before the Board at its annual 
meeting in 1 850. Edwards, we have seen, was a member of the class 
of 1 824. He had been a tutor at the College for a year, had studied at 
Andover Theological Seminary, and was now professor of Biblical 
Literature at Andover. He was a trustee of the College from 1 848 until 
his death in 1852, and was the first alumnus elected to the Board. 

At the annual meeting on August 6, 1850, the Board voted to appoint 
a committee made up of Bela Edwards, Williston, Calhoun, Vaill, 
and Henry Edwards, to consider the expediency of procuring funds 
for a library building, and, if they deemed it expedient, to "devise, 
mature & carry out some plan to accomplish the same." 

The Committee went promptly to work and prepared a circular, 
signed by the Committee, and issued by a group of sponsors. The 
sponsors included John Tappan, a trustee and a businessman in Bos- 
ton; Professor Edwards A. Park of the faculty of Andover Theological 
Seminary and a colleague of Edwards; Rufus Choate, the leader of 
the Boston bar; Frederick Dan Huntington of the class of 1839, at 
this time pastor of the South Congregational Church in Boston and 
later to become a professor at Harvard and a bishop of the Episcopal 
Church; and Nehemiah Adams, pastor of the Essex Street Church in 
Boston and a leader in public affairs in the city. 

A copy of the circular, dated March 7, 1851, has been preserved 
in the Hitchcock Memorial Room and is interesting to read today, 
when colleges throughout the country are engaged in fund-raising 
campaigns. The Committee emphasizes the importance of a proper 
library for the undergraduates, for the faculty, and for the ministers 
in the western part of the state. It points out that there was then no 
valuable public library in the four western counties of Massachusetts 
and none in "the contiguous parts of the adjoining states." It adds 
that the churches in Providence had recently given $1,000 to Brown 
University for the purchase of two hundred volumes of the works of 
the Christian Fathers, specially for the use of the Providence ministers. 
It closes with the statement that the present is an opportune time to 
enlarge the library "in consequence of the political disturbances of 
the past two years" in Europe, which have brought on the market at 
low prices a large number of important European books. 

The work of actually soliciting subscriptions was delegated to Pro- 
fessor William S. Tyler of the class of 1830 (professor from 1836 until 
1893) and Professor George B. Jewett of the class of 1840, who was 
professor of Latin and modern languages from 1850 until 1855. In 
the Hitchcock Memorial Room is a large volume bound in full leather 
entitled "Donations to the Library of Amherst College." There were 
two hundred and ninety-six gifts for a total amount of $20,884.90. 
The largest gifts were $3,000 from Samuel Williston, $1,500 from 
George Merriam, S500 from David Sears, and S400 from John Tappan. 
Thirteen Congregational churches contributed about $984, and ten 
religious boards gave S220. 

The subscription list includes a number of distinguished names: 
Edward Everett and Jared Sparks, both presidents of Harvard; Charles 
Sumner, United States Senator; Caleb Gushing, Rufus Choate, Josiah 
Qjuincy, Jr.; Francis Parkman and William H. Prescott, the historians; 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet; and Harper & Brothers, Dodd, 
Appleton, Little & Brown, all publishers. Some of the subscriptions 
were paid in books. Four of the Amherst professors gave Si 00 each, 
which was a large gift for a teacher on a salary of S800 a year. In 
running down the list, I was interested to observe the name of my 
great-uncle, Horatio Lyon of Monson, who contributed $100. 

Josiah Quincy, Jr., like his father, became mayor of Boston. He 
married "a lady of property," held many lucrative trusts, and accumu- 
lated a fortune of $400,000. He is described as "a desperate punster" 
and was a popular public speaker. Parkman and Prescott, the histori- 
ans, were both men of substantial inherited fortune. 

On the question of the site of the proposed building there was vigor- 
ous disagreement in the Board. Three different locations were proposed: 
the location south of South College, where Appleton now stands; this 
had been graded years before in accordance with the original plan of 
Professor Abbott. A second site, urged more vigorously and adopted 
by the Building Committee, was about half way between the Octagon 
and the site of the present Williston. The third site, urged by Bela 
Edwards with great vigor, and finally adopted by the Prudential Com- 
mittee (which thus overruled the Building Committee), was the present 
site of Morgan Hall. This had belonged to the College, had been sold 
to the First Parish when College Hall was built, and now contained the 
parsonage. This was a two-story, mansard-roofed house, divided to 
make a two-family house. On the south side lived Mr. Colton, the 
minister; on the north, a Mrs. Smith, who took boarders. 

Bela Edwards, whose vigorous argument for the present site carried 
the day, put his ideas in a letter which I have before me. He seems to 


have agreed with Hitchcock on the subject of College Row, for he says, 
"I should earnestly deprecate the erection of any more buildings on 
the model of the three now standing. To all persons of good taste, as 
I think, they are uncouth, unsightly masses of brick and mortar, simply 
to be tolerated because they are useful, and because they are a no 
greater deformity than are found at some other colleges. . . . Far better 
that a vicious original plan remain unaccomplished." 

He then argues that to place the library close to the dormitories 
would expose it to serious fire risk, because students "are proverbially 
careless in regard to fire." And he follows with the argument that if the 
library were placed near the dormitories, visitors from away, ladies 
especially, "would shrink from coming into such close vicinity with a 
company of young men, and always containing those who are noisy 
and insolent." 

He concluded with a paragraph on good taste. "This matter of 
taste is just where the College is weakest, and needs most to be strength- 
ened. The College has substantial qualities, knowledge, science, etc., 
but there has been, as all acknowledge, from the beginning, a serious 
deficiency in respect to taste, true culture, etc. Now is the time to help 
to put away this reproach, by erecting a neat, handsome, not expensive, 
building of stone, away from the other edifices." 

The question of design was complicated by a generous offer from 
Mr. Williston who took no sides on the question of location. He wrote 
the Board that if they added a lower story to the library for a zoological 
cabinet, he would add $2,000 to his gift. One suspects President Hitch- 
cock of attempting to get more space for the College's scientific collec- 
tions by suggesting to Williston this offer which would, of course, 
tempt the Board. Apparently the architect was unable to include this 
extra story. 

The Prudential Committee bought the parsonage, engaged Mr. 
Sykes, who had done so well with the Octagon, as both architect and 
contractor for the library, and proceeded with the construction. It 
was begun in 1852 and finished in 1853. The material was Pelham 
gneiss, and Hitchcock remarks that this was the first time such a use 
was made of this stone. The style of architecture is today called Tuscan. 
The craftsmen who laid the stone secured a beautiful effect by the 
way they spread the mortar, which has a pinkish hue, between the 
courses of gneiss. 

On November 22, 1853, the Library was dedicated by appropriate 
exercises in the village church (College Hall). Professor Haven gave a 
brief sketch of the history of the enterprise and Professor Jewett com- 
posed "an elegant Latin Ode" which was read by the professor and 

then sung by the choir. The principal address was deUvercd by Pro- 
fessor Park of Andover on The Importance of Aesthetic in Connection with 
Religious and Moral Culture, and the undergraduate report remarks that 
the address was characterized "by uncommon force and brilhancy." 
Unhappily, Bela Edwards, whose drive had made the building possible, 
did not live to see his cherished dream for his alma mater fulfilled. 

At the close of the exercises the College conferred the honorary de- 
gree of Master of Arts on Mr, Sykes. 

The cost of the land and building was about $i i,ooo. 

Meanwhile, the health of the president had been deteriorating seri- 
ously. In 1850 he and his wife had gone abroad on a six months' leave 
voted by the Board and had made an extended tour of Europe. He 
had come back much refreshed, but before long both his health and 
spirits flagged again. At a special meeting of the Board, which he called 
for the purpose on July 11, 1854, he tendered his resignation. On 
November 22 of the same year, he delivered his valedictory address on 
the occasion of the inauguration of William Augustus Stearns as the 
fourth president of the College. 

In this address he was able to announce a gift of Si 0,000 from the 
trustees of the estate of Samuel Appleton, the Boston philanthropist, 
for another scientific cabinet. He had presented his appeal to the 
trustees of the estate in a letter a year earlier and had received their 
answer announcing the gift only the day before he left the presidency. 
Tyler remarks that "there is reason to believe that confidence in the 
wisdom of the new president conspired with admiration for the genius 
and science of his predecessor in securing the donation." He adds that 
"the donation, while it formed a brilliant and appropriate finale to the 
retiring administration, furnished also an auspicious omen for the in- 
coming presidency." Hitchcock was to remain on the faculty and was 
given "almost entire control and superintendence of the new building." 

Samuel Appleton came from sturdy New Hampshire stock, was 
raised on a farm, and had had little formal education. He moved to 
Boston and founded his own business first in importing and later in 
manufacturing. He accumulated a fortune which was said to amount 
to a million dollars, and, having no children, he turned to philan- 
thropy. He was said at the time to give away more money each year 
than any other man in Boston. 

The Building Committee consisted of Hitchcock, Williston, and Pro- 
fessor William S. Clark. Clark (i 825-1 886) had graduated from Am- 
herst in the class of 1 848 and taken his doctorate in Germany. He was 
appointed professor of chemistry at Amherst in 1 852 and served until 
1867, when he became president of Massachusetts Agricultural College. 


The Committee selected Sykes as the architect, and Hitchcock per- 
suaded the Committee to recommend a location just west of the Octa- 
gon. The Committee was overruled by the Prudential Committee, 
however, and Appleton Cabinet was placed south of South College on 
the site which had been graded a score of years before and which had 
been marked as a site for an important college building on the plan 
of Jacob Abbott. Luke Sweetser was the man responsible for the action 
of the Prudential Committee. He astutely offered the College Si,ooo 
for a new lecture room for geology to be added at the west end of the 
Octagon, and Hitchcock realized that he could now get both the 
Appleton Cabinet and a new lecture room for his department and so 
shifted his weight to support the present location of Appleton. The 
new lecture room was built in octagonal form to conform to the re- 
mainder of the building. 

The building was built by George P. Shoals of Easthampton and 
cost Si 0,000. The expensive cases for specimens on the second floor 
were given by Williston, the others were made at the College. 

Two years later Hitchcock, now a professor again, persuaded Enos 
Dickinson of South Amherst, "an industrious and substantial farmer, of 
superior intelligence, of firm and consistent piety, and liberal in his 
benefactions," to give S567 to erect a wing on the east end of the 
Octagon. Dickinson had been a constant attendant at the old church 
which had stood on this site when the College was founded. This wing 
was called the Dickinson Nineveh Gallery and the name was inscribed 
on a marble tablet. For many years it housed the Nineveh tablets 
which Henry Lobdell had acquired for the College. 

Appleton Cabinet was erected in 1855. It was one hundred and ten 
feet long and forty-five feet wide and two stories in height. On the 
east end a classroom was attached, giving an opportunity to the faculty 
to dub it an example of the "protuberant style of architecture." The 
main structure was unheated. 

The Octagon was used by the department of geology until 1908, 
when the Biology-Geology Building was erected. Since 1 908 the Octa- 
gon has been the home of the department of music. Appleton continued 
to house the scientific collections until the 1 920's, when it was entirely 
reconstructed, at a cost of some Si 00,000, as a three-story recitation 

Hitchcock had been president of the College for nine momentous 
years. He had accepted the presidency when the institution was so 
near dissolution that the two men first chosen by the Board to head 
the College had declined in the belief that it had not long to live. 
When he left office, the foundations of the College were secure. The 

college plant had been enlarged by the Woods Cabinet and Lawrence 
Observatory and the Library, and he had secured the funds for Apple- 
ton, But the reputation of the College had been enhanced even more 
than the endowment and the additions to the plant. For this we must 
accord a large share of the credit to Hitchcock and to the men he 
brought to the faculty. 

As one reads Hitchcock's words today, one is reminded of the New 
England philosophy of Calvin Coolidge. "My principle," says Hitch- 
cock, "was never to take one step toward the erection of a public edifice 
till the entire funds were in our hands. In all the buildings which I 
was the means of erecting subsequently I acted on this principle, and 
am satisfied that it is the true one, both prudentially and religiously." 

The Board sometimes drove a hard bargain with their president. At 
a meeting of the Prudential Committee on December 8, 1851, the 
president proposed that the partition between the Rhetorical Lecture 
Room and the President's Lecture Room on the west side of the second 
floor of Johnson Chapel be removed to make one large room for re- 
ligious meetings and other purposes. These are the rooms now occu- 
pied by the president's offices. Estimated cost was $50; estimated saving, 
$25 a year. The Prudential Committee approved, provided the presi- 
dent guaranteed that the cost should not exceed S50 and provided the 
president agreed to replace the partition at his own expense at any 
future time on request of the Board. The president agreed. 

His son, Edward, Jr. ("Old Doc"), in his unpublished notebooks 
makes some interesting comments on his father and his scientific col- 
leagues which are worthy of preservation. 

"One peculiarity of my father ought to be remembered by his college 
friends, for to much of his success that feature was a leading power. 
He inherited a despondent, humiliating temperament from his mother. 
They depreciated their abilities & power & worthiness to a very great 
& wrong degree. In anything except trifles I never got a decided yes 
or no in my requests from him. . . . He was timid & self-distrustful & 
then was not sure that the Lord was on his side & he would often say 
T don't think we shall succeed' or 'It is hardly worth while to try' 
& yet he would go to work exactly as if he knew he would succeed. 
He was timid but hopeful. In begging for money & he did a lot of it, 
he generally told the approached that he didn't really suppose he 
would help him but the need was great & he need not fear to refuse 
the request. 

"During his administration my father saw gathered to the college 
money & educational appliances to the amount of $100,000, and in 
those days it was a big sum. And he got it because everybody saw he 


was honest, self sacrificing & zealous in a very modest & diffident way. 
And he did get hold of the money of such men as Amos and Abbott 
Lawrence, J. B. Woods, Samuel Williston, John Tappan, R. P. Waters 
& the like. 

"A good deal of my father's help to the College came from the fact 
of his being the very early one of the state geologists & the discoverer 
of the science of ichnology. And the securing of the state collection of 
rocks & minerals & the missionary collection gave much zest to his 
department & prestige to the college in those early days. ... His class 
work was fertile, not by the hard work he made the students do, but 
by the many illustrations & specimens which he could shew & the fact 
that he had discovered many of these things himself. 

"His discoveries of the Tracks set him up well outside of college with 
scientific men. But his books & lectures on the Religion of Geology 
established a wide reputation for him on both continents. 

"But he did not like the discipline of college students, nor the dis- 
cussions & scrimmages with his Faculty when he was President. Faculty 
meetings shortened his life & would have killed him had he not got 
out of the Presidential chair." 

"Old Doc" has also given us his impressions of Hitchcock's two 
scientific colleagues, Professors Adams and Shepard. "Professor Adams 
brought the best collection of shells then in existence this side of the 
Atlantic. And he had the first and open field for the conchology of the 
West Indies & practically held the field till his sad death. He gave a 
course of lectures on conchology which not even Agassiz could come 
up to. . . . Those lectures were to my mind the best prepared and 
arranged lectures which we heard in college. . . . And the collections 
in Appleton Cabinet, as he got them in shape before he died, were just 
superb. And think of those thousands of labels of shells, which were 
every one written & placed on their trays by the man himself, for he 
had precious little help from anyone. . . . He stuck to his work day 
& night & many was the night when his light in No. 5, South College 
was the last one out. But he neglected himself & his family & he died 
of fever (yellow)." 

"Prof. Shepard was his counterpart in almost everything. Adams 
was valedictorian & Shepard not specially gifted in general scholarship, 
though ever a master of the choicest & most refined language. They 
lived for years in the house which always went by the name of the 
Shepard House on the present Chi Psi site. 

"Prof. Shepard's collection of minerals & meteorites was as fine & 
unrivalled as was Prof. Adams' shells, bugs, & animals. It was more 
of a jewel & ornament to the College than were the shells. And then 

Prof. S was such a polished & ornate gentleman that the lift he gave 
the college was not inconsiderable. And the meteorites it was credibly 
affirmed were equalled by no collection anywhere save at the British 
Museum. And he did constantly keep on adding beauty after beauty 
& gem after gem for everybody's delight. 

"He was an example of the most intelligent enthusiast in the work 
of his life. And both he & his sister, Mrs. Lucius Boltwood, did an 
immense deal in the refining influences of Amherst & town society. 
And as he went to Europe certainly as often as once in two years, he 
imported to us all a little of the foreign distingue air of living. Prof. S 
never went to prayer or faculty meetings. And he once remarked to 
me that religion was only a veil, a very thin veil that a person threw 
over himself. 

"But his real instruction in science to the students was not great. 
He had such a gift of pohshed verbiage & he had travelled in Europe 
so much that he gave delightful lectures which anybody would like 
to hear . . . and he always attracted the students to hear him. He 
would have a story to tell about many of his specimens which was as 
interesting often as was the pretty stone itself." 

As we take leave of President Hitchcock — scientist, administrator, 
builder, and savior of the College — we may note that he is the only 
president of Amherst College in its history whose biography appears in 
the current edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. 


Chapter IV 

William Augustus Stearns was inaugurated as the fourth president 
of Amherst College on November 22, 1854. 

■ The undergraduate paper in commenting on the new president in 
its report of the inauguration ceremony remarked that "his elegant & 
commanding appearance, his beautiful diction, his manly, compre- 
hensive, vigorous thought, won for him in the estimation of all, the 
reputation of a literary character of no ordinary merit," an anticli- 
mactic conclusion after such a build-up. But we recall that this estimate 
was made by the undergraduate reporter after listening to Hitchcock's 
valedictory address lasting an hour and the inaugural address of the 
new president lasting an hour and a half. 

President Stearns' background and experience were widely different 
from those of his predecessors. He was born in Bedford, Massachusetts, 
not far from Concord, in 1805. His father and both grandfathers were 
ministers. He prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, and 
graduated from Harvard with honor in the class of 1827. His classmate 
and friend, Cornelius C. Felton, later became president of Harvard. 
After college Stearns took the full theological course at Andover, and 
then taught for a short time in Duxbury. In 1831 he became pastor 
of the church in Cambridgeport, and remained there for twenty-three 
years, until his election to the presidency of Amherst. 

Hitchcock had been passionately devoted to the advancement of 
science, though he was always a profoundly religious man too. As a 
scientist, Hitchcock's mind was open to new ideas in other fields, ideas 
which he was eager to put into practice and subject to the test of ex- 
perience. And Hitchcock was eager to have his students' minds open 
to the new ideas of his day. Stearns' prime interest was religion. He 
had not been infected with the new ideas of Unitarianism which had 
captured the loyalty of so many in the eastern part of the state. He 
was essentially a conservative. The call to Amherst offered him the 
opportunity to continue the good fight for the religion of the fathers 
in the strategic sector of a college which had been founded to educate 

Appleton Hall in the 1870's 

Appleton in 19,50; note added story and remodeled face 

ministers, and which had been sending about half of its graduates into 
the ministry, a higher proportion than any other New England college. 
There was the further fact which could not have escaped his attention: 
ninety-six per cent of the ministers graduated from Amherst were Con- 
gregationalist; less than one per cent were Unitarian; less than one per 
cent. Episcopalian. 

Stearns thus differed widely from Hitchcock, but he also had an 
entirely different background from Humphrey. Humphrey was the son 
of a farmer in the western part of New England; he went to school in 
the winter, if there was a school; otherwise he worked on the farm. 
He was largely self-taught except for two years at Yale. His experience 
in the ministry was in a country parish far from the centers of New 
England culture which was having such a rich awakening in and around 
Concord and Boston. Stearns, on the other hand, had lived all his 
life near Boston, had been brought up in a minister's family, and had 
had the best that a fine old academy and Harvard and Andover Theo- 
logical Seminary could offer. His life as a minister had been in a large 
city church in the shadow of Harvard and just across the river from 
Boston. Every advantage that Boston and Cambridge and Concord 
could ofTer was ready at his hand. The schools in Cambridge, at which 
his children were educated, were reputed to be the best in the country. 
All this he relinquished because, as he said in his letter of acceptance 
of the Amherst presidency, he had "a pleasing consciousness of acting 
in the case under the directing influence of an overruling Power." 

The three men also differed widely in personality. Humphrey was a 
serious-minded Calvinist, often irritable, lacking in humor, stern in 
the discipline of students, and unsympathetic with the vagaries and 
the ebullience of young men. Hitchcock was impulsive and exciting. 
He, too, was often irritable, largely, I suspect, because he suffered from 
dyspepsia and other ailments. But he was not a stern disciplinarian; 
he preferred to handle the student body by persuasion, and he had 
great patience with "a black sheep." In this he was very much like 
his son, "Old Doc," who became so much beloved by generations of 
students, and who was held in particular affection and almost reverence 
by the alumni who had been more or less "black sheep" in their under- 
graduate days. Stearns was gentle and courteous and wise; he had a 
pleasant vein of humor, he did not easily take offense, and he was 
quick to forgive. He made many friends and few enemies. He did not, 
however, have the powerful personality of his immediate predecessor 
or of his immediate successor in office, and he did not make the lasting 
impression on his students that was made by Hitchcock and by 
Seelye. Students never forgot Hitchcock or Seelye, even when the stu- 


dent himself had become an old man and "his" president had long 
since been gathered to his fathers. 

Stearns had been president a little over a year when he put on paper 
his ideas as to the needs of the College. On January 30, 1856, he wrote 
a long letter to Samuel Williston in response to the latter's request "in 
reference to the future of Amherst College." He discussed the need of 
endowment for the salaries of the teachers and administrative officers, 
scholarships, larger funds for the acquisition of books for the library, 
the endowment of a pastorate for the religious work of the College, 
and buildings and grounds. The subjects have a familiar ring; every 
president of every college has felt the need of more funds in each of 
these fields. About one half of the letter deals with buildings and 
grounds, and it is this we are now interested in considering in some 

Stearns' opening sentence in the pages devoted to the subject gives 
us the key to his attitude on the development of the college plant. 
"We need here," he says, "the means for the cultivation of Christian 
aesthetics, in a much higher degree than heretofore" (italics his). "I 
mean the science of the beautiful, especially in its Christian relations," 
he continues. And he adds, "I should be hardly willing to say, even 
in the strictest confidence to you, my dear Sir, that the greatest defect 
of this College, as compared with Cambridge, Yale & even Williams, 
could be justly expressed by the word vulgarity. It is too strong a 
term. . . . Our surroundings, the mountains & scenery about us are 
good teachers, & we can give good instructions in the department of 
taste & manners. But we need to do more for these ends, in our im- 
mediate premises." 

In the paragraphs which immediately follow, Stearns outlines what 
in his opinion should be done. "Let then all our buildings & grounds 
be put into a tasteful & attractive condition. Particularly the recitation 
rooms, some of which are now disgraceful to us, & would be deemed 
intolerable in almost any school here in the eastern part of the com- 
monwealth, should be fitted up, or new ones constructed so as to be 
both decent & comfortable. 

"The Cupola should be taken from the roof of the Chapel, where it 
now both injures the building & gives a somewhat vulgar effect to 
the general aspect of the hill, & instead of it, an entrance way of good 
architectural proportions should be built up from the ground, rising 
in the form of a steeple or tower, with clock & bell upon it. 

"The grounds shoudd be laid out, walks completed, trees & shrubbery 

set, lands enriched, & everything put in appropriate & attractive order. 

"The College needs also a Chapel, erected for & devoted exclusively 


to religious purposes, as they have at Bowdoin, as they are going to 
have at Cambridge, as they will have ere long at other colleges. Here, 
in this building consecrated to God, I would have the Sabbath worship, 
morning and evening devotions, social prayer meetings, & all other 
strictly religious exercises & nothing else. . . . Our College Chapel as 
now used is anything but a sacred place. Declamations, exhibitions, 
with clappings & hurrahs, & all the dirt & vulgarity which results 
from coarse and constant usage makes it seem more like a town house 
than a meeting house." 

Better classrooms, a face-lifting for Johnson Chapel, a new church 
building, walks and drives, and the planting of trees and shrubbery — 
a relatively modest program. In the twenty-two years that Stearns 
served the College as president, he was to see the attainment of these 
objectives, except for the face-lifting of Johnson Chapel; and in addi- 
tion there was to be the construction of a gymnasium and a dormitory. 

One cannot fail to note the use of the words "vulgarity" and "vulgar" 
three times in as many paragraphs, and one may assume without risk 
that the gentle president who was used to the refined atmosphere of 
Cambridge and Boston was not a little disturbed by that "want of 
refinement in feelings & manners which ought to characterize Christian 
scholars & gentlemen" which he found among "the rough strong 
scholars" in the College. A little later in the same letter he adds, "That 
the ministry has been somewhat vulgarized, in our day cannot be 
denied." And he points out to Mr. Williston, that "because so many 
of her [Amherst's] students, sustained by charity, come from families 
which have not had the best opportunities for this kind of culture," 
Amherst has an unusual opportunity. 

Perhaps the president, whose home in Cambridgeport was not too 
close to the Harvard Yard, was out of touch with the current model of 
Harvard undergraduate. And we know, in addition, that student disci- 
pline at Amherst at the close of the Hitchcock administration was a 
little out of hand even in the opinion of the Amherst Board of Trustees. 
In any event, we can see that the president's letter came dangerously 
close to being undiplomatic when addressed to the richest and most 
benevolent member of the Board, who himself was the product of a 
small town in the western part of the state and who had not had the 
advantages either of a college education or of mingling in the refined 
society of Cambridge scholars and gentlemen. Mr. Williston himself 
was something of a rough diamond, but he does not seem to have taken 

It is interesting to speculate on what President Stearns meant by the 
phrase "Christian aesthetics" and "the science of the beautiful, es- 


pecially in its Christian relations." Is he making a distinction between 
the architecture of Christian times and pagan architecture, as repre- 
sented by Greek and Roman models, and is this the reason for wishing 
to replace the stately Doric columns on the west portico of Johnson 
Chapel? Or is he using the word "Christian" to express the idea of 
ecclesiasticism? For the mid-nineteenth century was witnessing the de- 
cline of the Greek revival in American architecture and the rise of the 
Victorian Gothic. Upjohn had come from England and designed Trin- 
ity Church in New York City, and Ruskin's influence was to make 
Gothic universal in church design. 

Stearns had referred to the faci; that Harvard was about to have a 
new chapel, and he was right. Harvard had become dissatisfied with 
its stately chapel room in University Hall which had served it well 
since 1815 and which had been designed by Bulfinch. In 1858 it com- 
pleted Appleton Chapel, the funds for which had come largely from 
Samuel Appleton, the Boston merchant whose generosity had made 
possible the gift by his trustees of Si 0,000 to build Appleton Cabinet at 

A year after Stearns wrote this letter to Williston, the College suf- 
fered a major disaster. "Old" North College, built in 1828 from money 
borrowed from the Charity Fund, was totally destroyed by fire. The 
building had cost about Si 0,000 when built and now represented an 
investment of about $12,000. It was insured in the Merchants' and 
Farmers' Company of Worcester for $5,000. The loss of student 
property amounted to another $2,000. The fire started in the room 
of Dick Mather, '57, later to become Professor Richard Mather, 
who was a member of our faculty from 1 859 until 1 890. 

The story of the fire is graphically told in the Amherst Collegiate 
Magazine, published by the student body. "On the evening of Monday, 
the 19th of the last month [January 19, 1857], at about half past eight 
o'clock, the students of Amherst College and the people of the town 
were startled at the alarm of fire. For twenty-four hours previous a 
violent storm had been raging, and on that night the air was full of 
drifting clouds of snow, while the ground was covered with drifts of 
from two to four feet deep. The wind blew a heavy gale from the N.W., 
and the cold was intense, the thermometer ranging zero or below. The 
cry of fire and the wild clanging of the bells are always startling and 
inspire a kind of heroism which impels us to yield at once to our first, 
greatest, and only impulse, to reach the spot and fight the flames; but 
upon this fearful night the alarm was full of terror. 

"The fire is supposed to have originated in the third story, S.E. 
corner room of the North College building, as the flames first made 

their appearance there. The occupant of the room went out about an 
hour before the flames were discovered, leaving the fire (which was in 
an open fire-place) , as he thought, in a condition of perfect safety. No 
blame can be attached to him for carelessness. The conflagration had 
proceeded so far, when discovered, that the whole interior of the room 
was in flames; and to draw water from a well, in a single bucket, carry 
it by hand and thus extinguish the fire, proved impossible. The village 
engines, when at length they arrived through the deep snow, owing 
to the intensity of the cold or to some other cause, could not be made 
to work. All hope of saving North College was thus given up. 

"There was great danger that the flames would be communicated 
to the next building, in which event they would have swept college 
hill of every edifice upon it, except perhaps Woods Cabinet. A line 
was formed to pass water in buckets from a fire well at the foot of 
college hill, by which means the roof, windows, and end of the building 
adjacent to the fire were kept wet, and thus preserved. The tin roof 
on North College confined the fire somewhat, and rendered the danger 
of communication less. In three hours from the discovery of the fire 
all danger was past, and North College, our best dormitory, was 'a 
splendid ruin.' 

"By this calamity no lives were lost, though there were several narrow 
escapes. About fifty students were temporarily deprived of rooms. The 
library and furniture of the 'Society of Inquiry' room were mostly 
saved. Many articles of its Museum were injured by removing, and 
some were lost. The 'Anti Secret Confederation' met with a heavy loss 
in the burning of its session-room and furniture. No other societies 
occupied rooms in North College. 

"Owing to the generosity and activity of our officers, seconded by 
the liberality of the people of Amherst and neighboring towns, those 
students who could not afford to lose their goods have had refunded 
to them, in part at least, the amount of their loss." 

President Stearns regarded the building as "the most unsightly and 
most uncomfortable structure in the range," but Tyler, who had roomed 
there as a student, thought that "its rooms and halls were all sacred 
and beautiful." The student reporter, as we have seen, regarded it as 
the best dormitory the College had. Certainly it was the one the upper- 
classmen selected for themselves in preference to the two older dormi- 

The disaster would have been shattering to the College if it had oc- 
curred twenty years earlier. But now its friends rallied at once to its 
support. A special meeting of the Board was held in Boston two weeks 
later. Mr. Williston presented a letter to the Board dated February 5, 


the day of the meeting, and addressed to the president, which is so 
succinct that it must be given in full. 

"Having thought for some years past that Amherst College greatly 
needed a suitable building for the accommodation of the Alumni; and 
also for the Literary Societies; and having recently become satisfied 
that rooms convenient were needed for chemical purposes — and hav- 
ing some months since, agreed (upon certain conditions) to erect a 
building for the two first named purposes (which conditions have not 
been complied with), I now propose through you to the Trustees of 
Amherst College, to build for them, at my own expense, as soon as 
may be, a handsome brick building with a Tower, three stories high, 
for the purposes herein specified — 80 feet X 40 ft the size of the 

"The conditions of this obligation are the following: Viz. ist. The 
Trustees are to give me all the stone below the brick work in North 
College lately destroyed by fire. 

sdly. They shall at once proceed to erect a new dormitory building, 
to take the place of the one lately burned, 

3d. The Trustees for this purpose shall procure by subscription Ten 
Thousand dollars, which it is believed will be enough (with the five 
Thousand dollars insurance money) to build & finish thoroughly said 

"The building may be located as the Trustees shall direct. 

Respectfully yours, 
S. Williston" 

It was a bold and generous offer by Mr. Williston, and it was made 
at a time when he was deeply troubled by a problem in his immediate 
family. Years earlier Mr. and Mrs. Williston had adopted the children 
of an American missionary to the Sandwich Islands who had been sent 
to them by their parents for an American education, and the children 
had taken the name of Williston. The son, Lyman Richards Williston, 
had graduated from Amherst in the class of 1850, taught Latin and 
Greek at Williston Seminary and attended Andover Theological Semi- 
nary. He had then been appointed Moore Professor of Latin at Amherst 
College, and been given leave of absence by the Board for advanced 
study in Germany. In Germany his views on religion had gradu- 
ally been modified, and he had become in effect a Unitarian. He knew 
well, of course, the religious views of President Stearns and his col- 
leagues, and he manfully wrote them of his modified views on religion. 
He was immediately dropped from the faculty, though the action was 
formalized by a written resignation which President Stearns presented 

to the Board at this very meeting when Samuel Williston presented his 
generous offer. And the Board accepted the resignation. 

President Stearns in his letter of condolence to Samuel Williston said: 

"I deeply sympathize with you in this, to me as well as yourself, 
sore disappointment. The child of a missionary, early consecrated 
to God by prayer and baptism, brought up in the School of Jesus, 
himself once hopefully regenerated — - 1 cannot think that he is 
to be wholly ingulphed in the dark abysses of German pantheism. 
... It seems to be late in the day to take up with a system which 
never had anything more substantial for its basis than beautiful 
clouds. ... I am the more afflicted, therefore, that any of our 
promising young men should involve themselves in these labyrinths 
of godless folly. . . . 

"I am glad that he knows himself sufficiently to understand 
also what is due to the College. . . . Had he come among us with 
the views he now holds, and with a disposition to propagate them 
in the institution, we could have received him only with coldness, 
mortification, and regret." 

Lyman R. Williston went to Cambridge, had a distinguished career 
in education, sent his son to Harvard. His son became the great teacher 
of law at the Harvard Law School, and in 1923 received the honorary 
degree of Doctor of Laws at the Amherst Commencement. 

We must return to the special meeting of the Board which had re- 
ceived Mr. Williston's generous offer. The Board appointed a com- 
mittee composed of President Stearns, Samuel Williston, and Alpheus 
Hardy to prepare votes for the Board. On the recommendation of 
this Committee the Board "gratefully accepted the proposition of 
Hon. Samuel Williston to erect an Alumni Hall &c"; pledged the Col- 
lege to build a "Students Hall without delay"; authorized the Pru- 
dential Committee to locate the new dormitory; appointed Mr. Willis- 
ton, Professor Clark, and Luke Sweetser as a Building Committee for 
the dormitory; and appointed the president and Henry Edwards to 
collect funds for the dormitory. As a further protection against fire, 
the Board authorized the Prudential Committee to build two reservoirs 
"of such size & form as they may think proper." 

The Prudential Committee, consisting of the president and treasurer, 
Williston, Vaill, and Sweetser, decided to place the new dormitory on 
the eastern side of the campus near the present location of James and 
Stearns Halls. 

The year 1857 was not a good year to raise money for new building. 
After a late spring which portended poor crops, the financial and 


business community was shaken by the failure on August 24 of the 
Ohio Life & Trust Company, which had borrowed heavily on call in 
the New York market. Its credit had been very high and its failure, 
for $7,000,000, unsettled confidence all along the seaboard. The loss 
of the steamship Central America, with over a million of bullion, en- 
hanced the crisis. In September the banks of Philadelphia, Washington, 
Baltimore, and many interior cities suspended. Stocks fell from forty 
to fifty per cent. Twenty thousand people were thrown out of work in 
New York City within a fortnight. Panic followed. On the 13th of 
October the New York banks (with one exception) suspended, and 
they were followed by the Boston banks. Exports almost ceased. While 
this was no time to raise money, it was an excellent time to build. 

The College seems to have been unable to secure subscriptions for 
the new dormitory of more than $5,000, and so was forced to borrow 
the additional $5,000 from the Charity Fund, to the distress of Pro- 
fessor Hitchcock, former president. Williston engaged Charles E. Parkes 
of Boston as architect for his building, and the Building Committee for 
the new dormitory agreed on the same architect. The contractor for 
both buildings was George P. Shoals of Easthampton. I have been 
unable to find the names of the donors to the $5,000 building fund. 

The cost of Williston was $16,000, of East College $15,000. 

The new building to be erected by Mr. Williston was immediately 
called Williston Hall by the undergraduate paper, though Mr. Williston 
himself referred to it as Alumni Hall. A year later the Board formally 
named it Williston Hall. The new dormitory, which contained forty- 
eight rooms, was named by the undergraduate paper East College, and 
this name too was officially adopted. The undergraduate paper in 
announcing the new dormitory remarked that "it will probably be the 
'habitat' of the Senior Classes, where they may preserve a lordly se- 
clusion, apart from the ^multitudine obscure et humile."^ The paper added 
that "the building, in respect to light and ventilation, is to be built on 
a plan that reflects honor on the humanity and common sense of the 
faculty, which is the more worthy of remark, as this latter quality is 
often sought for in vain, in the craniums of learned men." 

On the night before the dedication of the two buildings, the student 
body formed a torchlight procession, and marched to the home of 
Professor Clark, where J. B. Beaumont made a speech as representative 
of the undergraduate literary societies to Mr. Williston. "After a neat 
and appropriate response by Mr. Williston and a short address by 
Prof. Clark," the procession marched to the president's house where it 
was addressed by the president. 

The following day. May 1 9, 1 858, the trustees held a special meeting, 

followed by the formal dedication of the two buildings. Trustees, faculty, 
and students first marched to East College, where Luke Sweetser re- 
ported for the Building Committee and delivered the keys to the presi- 
dent. Then the procession moved across the campus to Williston Hall, 
where an address was made by Mr. Williston. The procession then pro- 
ceeded to the village church, now College Hall, prayer was offered 
by Dr. Vaill, and a brief address was made by the president. The 
president remarked that two new buildings had sprung from the ashes 
of the old, and described Williston Hall as "so comely in appearance, 
so convenient in arrangement, so generously bestowed and so full of 
invitation to the returning graduate as he comes up from the village 
to the College grounds." 

The principal address at the dedicatory exercises was made by Henry 
Ward Beecher, who was then the pastor of the Plymouth Church in 
Brooklyn, who was to become a trustee of the College nine years later, 
and who is one of the few ministers ever to decline the honorary degree 
of Doctor of Divinity from his alma mater. Beecher's subject at the 
dedication of the buildings was, "New England: Her Power and the 
Three Great Sources of It." 

After the services in the village church, the trustees and invited guests 
and representatives of the student body proceeded to the new Alumni 
Hall on the third floor of Williston Hall to enjoy an excellent dinner 
served by Mr. Howe of the Amherst House. 

At the annual meeting of the alumni, held on August 1 1 of that year, 
a resolution of grateful appreciation was adopted and sent to Mr. Willis- 
ton by J. H. Seelye, secretary of the alumni. Seelye had graduated from 
the College in the class of 1 849 and had just been appointed professor 
of mental and moral philosophy at the College. Twenty years later 
he was to become president. 

The resolution referred to the "repeated acts of generosity to our be- 
loved college, which have freed it from embarrassment and established 
it on a sound foundation, and which entitle him to be remembered 
forever among the most munificent patrons of learning," and then ex- 
pressed its appreciation for the "special favor conferred on the Alumni 
by providing a spacious and elegant Hall for the meetings." 

Mr. Williston had gone further, however, than give a new building: 
in the same year he gave the College $500 which was used by the 
Prudential Committee to paint the blinds and the chapel tower, to 
reset the stone steps, to extend the flagstone walk to Appleton, and 
to make other minor repairs. 

Hitchcock remarks that the "architectural proportions [of Williston 
Hall] are very fine," and that with Williston on the north and Appleton 


Cabinet on the south, "the long, unornamented, cheerless row of 
intervening buildings is greatly relieved." Of East College Hitchcock 
says only that it was planned "according to correct architectural rules." 

For nearly ninety years Williston Hall has served the College well. 
In 1 923 the top of the tower was removed by vote of the Board at a 
cost of $1,000. Major changes were made in 1951 which will be dis- 
cussed later. East College served its purpose as a dormitory for twenty- 
six years, and was finally taken down in 1883. 

The president, in his inaugural address, had devoted some time to 
the subject of physical education, particularly its relation to the moral 
and intellectual well-being of young men. "Physical education," he 
said, "is not the leading business of college life, though were I able, 
like Alfred or Charlemagne, to plan an educational system anew, I 
would seriously consider the expediency of introducing regular drills 
in gymnastic and calisthenic exercises." In each annual report to the 
trustees, he drew their attention anew to the subject, pointing out the 
failing health and sometimes the premature death of students, particu- 
larly in the spring after a long winter. In his report at the annual 
meeting of 1859 he said: "If a moderate amount of physical exercise 
could be secured as a general thing to every student daily, I have a 
deep conviction founded on close observation and experience, that 
not only would lives and health be preserved, but animation and 
cheerfulnesss, and a higher order of efficient study and intellectual life 
would be secured. It will be for the consideration of this Board, whether, 
for the encouragement of this sort of exercise, the time has not come 
when efficient measures should be taken for the erection of a gym- 
nasium, and the procuring of its proper appointments." This was a 
recommendation of educational statesmanship, in which Stearns was 
the leader in the country, and in which the other colleges followed 
but slowly. 

The Board referred this recommendation to a committee composed 
of the president, Henry Edwards (the Boston merchant and financier). 
Dr. Nathan Allen, and Alexander Bullock. 

Dr. Allen (181 3-1 889) had prepared for college at Amherst Acad- 
emy, graduated from the College in the class of 1836, studied medicine 
at Pennsylvania Medical College, and practiced his profession in Lowell 
from 1 841 until his death. He served on the Board at Amherst from 
1857 until he died. He was the second and one of the very few physi- 
cians to be elected to the Amherst Board in the entire history of the 

Alexander Bullock (i 816-1882), his classmate, studied law at Har- 
vard Law School, and practiced his profession in Worcester. He served 

as trustee from 1852 until his death. He was one of the outstanding 
pubKc men of the state, serving as speaker of the legislature, as judge, 
as governor of the Commonwealth, and as mayor of Worcester. Bullock 
was a frequent speaker or presiding officer at Amherst gatherings and 
was influential in the Finance Committee; his advice was often sought 
by both Stearns and Seelye. 

This committee reported back at a later session of the same annual 
meeting recommending that a suitable building for a gymnasium be 
built, provided it could be done at an expense to the College of not 
over $2,500 above any subscriptions obtained for the purpose, and 
provided that Josiah B, Woods of Enfield, Professor Clark of the faculty, 
Samuel Williston of the Board, and the president be appointed a 
Building Committee with power to proceed when the College had 
subscriptions of $2,500 in hand. The Committee reported that in their 
opinion a suitable building could be built for $5,000, that it should be 
located on the east side of the campus, and that the treasurer be 
authorized to borrow the $2,500 the College was to contribute, the 
loan to be repaid from the grant recently made by the legislature from 
the proceeds of the sale of the Back Bay lands in Boston. The Committee 
added that it thought the grounds south of the proposed building and 
north of the path leading to East College should be laid out as a 
cricket ground, and the land south of this path reserved for ball play- 
ing. All of the recommendations of the Committee were adopted. 

Professors Clark and Tyler secured subscriptions amounting to about 
$5,000. The largest gift was from Dr. Benjamin Barrett, a Northampton 
physician whose son had been a member of the class of 1 858 and who 
was awarded an honorary degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1859. His 
gift was $1,000, and the building was named for him, Barrett Gym- 
nasium. The building and equipment cost more than had been antici- 
pated — about $15,000, in fact — and the College was forced to bor- 
row about $10,000 instead of the $2,500 anticipated. 

While the Crisis of 1857 had been severe, as we have seen, the reac- 
tion was rapid. Business recovered quickly and 1859 and i860 were 
good years until the election in the autumn of 1 860, when the attitude 
of the southern states created great anxiety in commercial circles and 
businessmen began to contract their operations in anticipation of the 
coming storm. 

The Committee selected as architect Charles E. Parkes of Boston, 
who had designed Williston and East College. The contractor was 
R. R. Myers of Northampton. The building was begun in the autumn 
of 1859, and Hitchcock (who was still acting as a competent sidewalk 
superintendent) reports that the mortar froze badly. But he adds that 


"the walls will probably stand many years, even if there be no adhesive 
power in the mortar." It was the second building to be built of Pelham 

Hitchcock in his comments is reserved. He remarks that the building 
"is massive in appearance, without much architectural beauty, though 
in conformity with architectural rules." He had watched all of the 
college buildings as they went up and the only ones to satisfy him 
aesthetically were the Octagon and the president's house — though he 
thought the president's house badly placed. Tyler, writing a dozen 
years after Barrett was built, was enthusiastic and says, "It is one of 
the most beautiful buildings on the campus. It has the beauty of fitness 
and the beauty, rare in our day, of a severe simplicity." Tyler, we 
remember, was writing in the period of American architecture some- 
times referred to as the General Grant era, the period when Walker 
Hall was built. 

The list of donors is interesting. Among them we find the names of 
George Merriam of Springfield, Deacon Porter of Monson, Enos Dick- 
inson of Amherst — all of whom had given to the College before. And 
there are new names: Edward Benjamin Barrett of Northampton, 
ex '58, Horace Binney, Jr., of Philadelphia, Joseph Carew of South 
Hadley, Edward Southworth of West Springfield, Henry Edwards (the 
trustee), and S. D. Warren of Boston, who became well known as the 
founder of the S. D. Warren Paper Company. 

The procession at the laying of the cornerstone was headed by the 
Montague band. Then came the donors, followed by trustees, faculty, 
and student body by classes, followed by the members of the Agricul- 
tural Society. The marshal of the parade was Sheriflf Longley of Hamp- 
shire County. Prayer was offered by Professor Seelye, and the principal 
address was given by Edward Dickinson, treasurer of the College. He 
formally dedicated "this building like the others to Christ and the 
Church." "But should it," he added, "in the process of time be dese- 
crated to any purpose of immorality, or to anything adverse to the best 
interests of mankind, . . . would that a fire should consume it, or an 
earthquake throw it down." 

The procession then marched to the village church, now College 
Hall, where prayer was offered by the president. The principal address 
was now delivered on the subject, "Physical Culture." The orator was 
George B. Winship of Roxbury, and his theme was that physical culture 
made men lovers of liberty and was at war with the theory of the 
divine right of kings. To qualify himself as an expert in his subject, he 
modestly told the audience that he was now able to lift ten hundred 
and thirty-two pounds, but he put on no demonstration. We are in- 

debted for our detailed story of the historic occasion to the first issue 
of the first volume of the Franklin Express of Amherst. 

The building contained a bowling alley in addition to the gymnastic 
apparatus, and on the walls were painted three paragraphs written by 
Dr. Owen of the British Museum. A few years later Dr. Barrett in- 
stalled galleries in the gymnasium room at his own expense. On his 
death, in 1869, he left the College a fund of $5,000 for the upkeep of 
the building. 

Barrett Gymnasium was used for its original purpose until the erec- 
tion of Pratt Gymnasium in 1883. Then Dr. Barrett's heirs executed a 
formal release to the trustees permitting them to use the income from 
the fund for such uses of the Department of Physical Education as the 
trustees wished. 

In 1884 the College received a generous gift from Reverend Ro- 
bert M. Woods of the class of 1 869 and his sister of a fund of $5,000 
plus accumulated interest of another $1,000, to make Barrett over for 
the use of the Department of Geology, but the work was postponed 
from year to year, and the gift was finally used toward the construction 
of the Biology-Geology Building. Woods was the son of Josiah B. Woods 
of Enfield, who had raised the money for the Octagon (or Woods 
Cabinet). After graduating from Amherst, Robert Woods studied the- 
ology at Union, Andover, and Yale, Then for two years he was an 
instructor in English and mathematics at Amherst; for the rest of his 
active life he was pastor of the church in Hatfield. He served for twenty- 
seven years as an overseer of the Charitable Fund of the College and 
was a trustee of Smith College for thirty-two years, of the Cooley 
Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, and of Smith Academy in Hat- 
field. His son, Josiah, was a contemporary of mine in Amherst, and 
his daughters both married Amherst graduates. In 1906 he himself 
was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity by his alma 

In 1907 Barrett Hall was made over as a recitation building for 
modern languages. The cost, about $11,000, was met by the sale of 
the Strong estate on Lincoln Avenue, which had been given to the 
College by Edward A. Strong of the class of 1855. Strong was born in 
Boston, studied theology briefly at Andover on his graduation from 
Amherst. He then became a Boston merchant. He served as an alumni 
trustee for one term, from 1 885 till 1 890, when he was succeeded by 
George A. Plimpton. The committee of the Board in charge of this 
reconstruction was composed of President Harris, and Trustees Whit- 
comb, Charles M, Pratt, Arthur Curtiss James, and Arthur Dakin. 
At its autumn meeting held in November 1907, the Board approved 


an inscription to be cast in bronze and placed in Barrett. The inscrip- 
tion was drafted by President Harris, who seems to have made inade- 
quate research into the history of the building. He referred to the donor 
as Edward Benjamin Barrett, the son, instead of to Benjamin Barrett, 
the father, and he erroneously called Barrett Gymnasium the first col- 
lege gymnasium in this country. Twenty years later the Board removed 
the tablet and replaced it with another which corrected the errors of the 
first. Dr. Paul C. Phillips, "Little Doc," who had succeeded "Old Doc" 
as professor of physical education, had made a careful study and pub- 
lished the results in the Amherst Graduates^ Quarterly. 

Barrett, as we have seen, was built in 1 859-1 860. The first Harvard 
gymnasium was built in 1 859, Yale's first in the same year, Princeton's 
first in the same year, Williams' in the same year, Bowdoin's in i860, 
and Virginia's first in 1851-52. Amherst's priority is not in the building 
of Barrett Gymnasium; Amherst was the first American college to 
install a formal Department of Physical Education, and this depart- 
ment was housed in Barrett from 1859 to 1884. 

In 1863 Hitchcock completed his Reminiscences of Amherst College^ 
Historical, Scientific, Biographical and Autobiographical, and the volume 
was published in Northampton the same year. The Board had already 
passed a resolution that they would welcome its publication "with deep 
interest and grateful pleasure." He had been connected with the Col- 
lege continuously since the granting of the charter. A year later he 
died, at the age of seventy. He had come to Amherst from his parish in 
Conway because he thought he had not much longer to live, but that 
was now thirty-nine years ago. He had suffered from poor health and 
melancholy most of his adult life, and he was not one to bear his suf- 
fering in silence. In spite of these handicaps, he had taught at one 
time or another almost every science offered in the college curriculum. 
He had published, according to his own estimate, some twenty-four 
volumes, thirty-five pamphlets, ninety-four articles in journals, and 
eighty articles in newspapers, making a total of eight thousand printed 
pages. The list included poetry, books and articles on religion, on 
temperance, essays, as well as four thousand pages devoted to scientific 
subjects. He had saved the College from extinction, secured a sub- 
stantial permanent endowment, balanced the budget and kept it bal- 
anced, brought a number of distinguished men to the faculty, and built 
the Octagon, the Library, and Appleton Cabinet. His own reputation 
had enhanced the reputation of the College and made it respected both 
in the world of scholarship and of business and finance. In spite of 
this formidable list of accomplishments, he had in later life a sense of 
personal failure; our archives contain an undated memorandum in 

his handwriting in which he attempts to analyze the reason for his 

His successor was able to build on the firm foundations he had placed 
under the College. President Stearns continued to build. The next 
building added to the college plant was not a new building, but an 
old one — College Hall. We have already seen that the First Parish 
had in the early days of the College given up its meetinghouse located 
approximately on the site of the present Octagon, and had built on 
the corner of South Pleasant Street and Northampton Road. The Col- 
lege had provided the land and contributed some $700 on condition 
that the building be available for college use at Commencement and 
for other formal occasions. The building had been built in 1828 at a 
cost of about $7,000 and financed primarily by the sale of pews. 
Colonel Howland had been the builder. Hitchcock had not liked the 
building and had remarked that it was "constructed with a sad want 
of taste." He and others had objected particularly to the portico on 
the east; this had been removed in 1861. 

By 1864 Jt had become apparent to the First Parish that they needed 
a new meetinghouse. There was full discussion, and in 1866 the parish 
appointed a committee to build a new church. In January of that 
year the parish passed a further vote to offer their present structure to 
Amherst College for Si 0,000. If the College declined the offer, the 
building was to be offered to the town. If the town declined, then the 
parish would build its new church on the same site. 

This put the College in the favorable position of having the first 
opportunity to buy at a reasonable price, but at the same time it 
forced the hand of the College. Fortunately for the future of the College 
and of the church, the college trustees were farsighted enough to accept 
the offer, even though it presented them with a difficult problem of 
financing the purchase price. The purchase of College Hall was handled 
for the College by a special committee composed of the president and 
Trustees Hardy and Gillett. Alpheus Hardy (181 5-1 887) was a close 
personal friend of Stearns and was elected to the Board at the first 
meeting after Stearns took office. Born on Cape Cod, he studied for a 
time at Phillips Academy, Andover, but he was forced by poor health 
to give up any thought of further education. He became a prosperous 
merchant and shipowner in Boston and was, in addition, trustee of 
several large Boston estates. He served on the Amherst Board from 
1855 until 1877. 

Edward Bates Gillett (181 8-1 899) graduated from Amherst in the 
class of 1 839, and in 1 885 was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Laws. After college he studied law in Northampton and at Harvard 


Law School; for the rest of his life he practiced his profession in West- 
field and Springfield. He served as trustee of Amherst from 1861 to 
1896, as well as trustee of Smith College and of the Hartford Theo- 
logical Seminary. He was for a time district attorney for Hampden 
and Berkshire Counties, served as director of the Boston & Albany 
Railroad, and was president of the Hampden Bar Association. His son, 
Frederick H., graduated from Amherst in the class of 1874 and later 
became Speaker of the House of Representatives and United States 
Senator from Massachusetts. His younger son, Arthur L., graduated 
from the College in the class of 1880, was professor at the Hartford 
Theological Seminary, and served on the Board of the College from 
1 910 till 1932. 

The Committee was a strong committee — an able businessman, 
an able lawyer, and the president of the College. They took a deed 
of the building and the land, and a bill of sale of certain personal 
property. They released the parish from its obligation to provide fa- 
cilities for Commencement in the future. The treasurer paid such cash 
as he could and executed a note to the parish for $8,000 to be paid 
without interest the following August first. The note was paid by bor- 
rowing from the Walker legacy $10,000 at seven per cent. The Board 
expected to realize half of the interest from amounts received by rent- 
ing the building to the town for town meetings and other purposes, 
so that the actual annual cost to the College would be not more than 
S350 a year. 

It was a good purchase, but it probably would not have met the 
approval of Hitchcock if he had been alive. The Walker legacy, of 
which this $10,000 was a part, was given specifically to endow the 
teaching of mathematics and science. The trustees were investing a 
small part of the legacy to yield a seven per cent return to the Walker 
Fund by buying a church and then paying rent to the Walker Fund. 
Repairs and alterations were necessary to make the building useful to 
the College and these came to about $2,000, making the initial cost 
of College Hall about $12,000. Later, of course, the Walker Fund was 
reimbursed and the $10,000 invested in securities appropriate for en- 

The Walker saga may be said to begin in 1861 when President 
Stearns received a letter from Dr. Walker in which he proposed to 
make gifts to Amherst and Williams Colleges. For the next four years, 
until Walker's death in 1865, the president was engaged in conferences 
and in correspondence with him. As a result of the early conferences, 
Walker donated real estate to Amherst, Tufts, and Williams, which 
was to be held for a number of years in trust and then used for objects 

Evolution of Williston Hall 
As it was built (top left); tower altered, 1880 (top right); tower re- 
moved, 1924; picture on next page shows Williston as it appears today 

Williston now balances Appleton at the other end of College Row 

Barrett Hall, the nation's first college gymnasium 

designated by the donor. The portion coming to Amherst amounted, 
when it was received, to some $25,000 and was to serve as a permanent 
endowment for a professorship of mathematics and astronomy, now 
known as the Walker Professorship. In addition, Walker gave Amherst 
a fund of Si 0,000 to endow an instructorship in mathematics, and a 
fund of $6,000 to endow the Walker prizes in mathematics. Walker 
also made large gifts in his lifetime to the Natural History Society of 
Boston, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and to Tufts College. 
In his will Amherst and these institutions were named as residuary 

Here we are concerned with his gift which resulted in the erection 
of Walker Hall. After making careful inquiry as to the condition of 
the College and its needs. Walker proposed the erection of a building 
for mathematics and other scientific departments which should include, 
in addition, offices for the college officers, a room for the trustees, and 
vaults for the college records. His first oflTer was to give $20,000 for 
this purpose, provided other friends of the College contributed an equal 
amount. This condition seemed at the time almost impossible to meet. 
However, Samuel W^illiston, realizing the importance of the gift, of- 
fered $5,000 toward the matching fund. Samuel A. Hitchcock of 
Brimfield then added $5,000 more, and James Smith of Philadelphia 
added another $5,000. 

James Smith, a farmer's son, born in Rutland, Massachusetts, in 
1798, had had only a common school education. He went to work for 
a manufacturer of cards in Leicester, married his employer's daughter, 
and succeeded to the business. In 1883 he moved to Philadelphia to 
engage in the same business. He gave liberally, and helped a large 
number of young men to obtain a college education. One such was 
Nathan Allen, who graduated from Amherst in the class of 1836, be- 
came a practicing physician in Lowell, and served as a trustee of the 
College from 1857 until 1889. It was through him that the College 
secured the $5,000 gift from James Smith. 

The College was now within $5,000 of its goal, and Alpheus Hardy, 
who had frequently conferred with Dr. Walker, Henry Edwards, and 
Dr. Ebenezer Alden (all trustees) , and other friends of the College in 
Boston, made up the final $5,000. No sooner had the president notified 
Dr. Walker that the College had met the terms of his proposed gift, 
than Dr. Walker replied that he now found that a building such as he 
proposed could not be erected for the sum of $40,000. Walker sent his 
check for $20,000 and said that he would double his gift for the pro- 
posed building provided the College raised $20,000 more. 

This proposal was received, says the president, "with consternation 


approaching despair of success." Walker then suggested that if the 
College raised its additional quota, he would add another $20,000 to 
make a total fund of Si 00,000. Messrs. WilHston, Hitchcock, and Smith 
then doubled their original gifts. But, unfortunately, Hitchcock's pres- 
ent subscription was paid in six bonds of the State of Virginia of a par 
value of $1,000 each, which were at best of dubious value in the year 
1864. The long and detailed story of the College's efforts to realize on 
these and other Virginia bonds given by Mr. Hitchcock I have told 
in my History of the Endowment of Amherst College. 

The remaining $5,000 came from J. C. Baldwin of New York, who 
turned over a legacy from his brother, M. H. Baldwin. Moses Harrison 
Baldwin (181 1-1862) was born in Palmer, the tenth of fifteen children, 
and attended Amherst for his freshman year as a member of the class 
of 1833. He was forced to leave because of ill health. In 1835 he became 
a partner of his elder brother, John C, in the mercantile business in 
New York. After a few years, continued ill health forced his retirement; 
he traveled extensively in Europe, the West Indies, and the southern 
states, and cared for his extensive property. He had made a generous 
contribution to the library building, and he left the College about 
$7,000 in his will. His partners, John C. Baldwin and Alonzo Lilly, 
also gave the College about $4,000. Moses is said to have given away 
over $50,000 in the last years of his life, and his brother, John C, 
who had no children, is reputed to have given away a million dollars 
in his late years. Moses had come to Amherst originally at the sugges- 
tion of Dr. Vaill, who was the pastor of his church and who sei'ved 
Amherst as a trustee from 1821 till 1869, a period of forty-eight years. 
In 1 850 Amherst conferred the honorary degree of Master of Arts on 
Moses Baldwin, apparently at the suggestion of Professor Tyler. 

Dr. Walker then proposed a further gift by him of $50,000 for en- 
dowment, provided the College raised $100,000. But before this effort 
reached success, the doctor died. His will was contested by his heirs, 
and the four residuary legatees agreed to surrender $300,000 in 
settlement. Amherst received about $120,000 as its share of the residue 
of the estate. 

William Johnson Walker was a strange and difficult man. Only a 
man of Stearns' gentleness and tact could have succeeded in maintain- 
ing his friendship. Stearns calls him "powerful, self-relying, and passion- 
ate," and adds, "he was not a man to be advised." Dr. Morrill Wyman 
of Cambridge, who studied under him and who prepared the minute 
on his death for the Medical Society, remarked that "his temperament 
was ardent, which sometimes betrayed him into a course of action in 
which there was much to regret, and little to defend." 

Walker was born in Charlestown in 1790, and died in Newport in 
1865. He prepared for college at Phillips Academy, Andover, and 
graduated from Harvard in the class of 1810. He studied medicine in 
Charlestown and Medford. Soon after obtaining his medical degree, 
and while the United States was still at war with England, Walker 
sailed for France on an armed privateer fitted out in Boston to prey 
on British commerce. In Paris he continued his medical studies. As 
the number of French students was greatly diminished by the con- 
scription instituted by Napoleon, the hospitals were staffed largely by 
medical students from abroad. After the abdication of Napoleon, 
Walker went to London to continue his studies. 

On his return to this country he practiced his profession in Charles- 
town and Boston for some thirty years. Then he retired and began 
investing in railroads and manufacturing. In time he made a large 
fortune. He intended at first to give it to Harvard, but since the con- 
ditions he desired to impose were unsatisfactory to his alma mater, 
he looked elsewhere for an opportunity to advance education. He 
found the opportunity at Amherst, Tufts, M.I.T., and Williams, as 
we have seen. 

Something of the dominating, self-willed character of our benefactor 
stands out in the pages of instruction he prepared for Amherst telling 
the College how mathematics should be taught. He was a physician, 
not a mathematician, but he was convinced that he knew, beyond the 
slightest possibility of doubt, just how college teaching in the fields of 
mathematics and Latin should be done, both in i860, when he himself 
was fifty years out of college, and for all future time. 

His later years were obviously unhappy. He was estranged from his 
immediate family, and he lived his last years and died in a boarding 
house in Newport kept by two elderly ladies whom he rewarded for 
their kindness by generous legacies. His total gifts to Amherst amounted 
to more than $200,000. Only one other donor in the nineteenth century 
gave the College as much. 

The erection of Walker Hall was delayed for three years after the 
death of the principal donor. One reason was the advice of Dr. Walker 
himself that the building should not be begun in "the then existing 
state of labor and the public finance." Further reasons were the diffi- 
culties of determining the proper location for the building and of se- 
curing satisfactory plans. 

Finally, at a special meeting of the Board in November 1866, a 
Building Committee was appointed, a location chosen, and the pur- 
chase of the necessary land from Lucius Boltwood approved. The ma- 
terial to be used in construction was left to the discretion of the Com- 


mittee. Construction was to be fireproof, so that "it shall be safe against 
all usual risks of fire from within or from without." The treasurer was 
authorized to pay for the land from the interest accrued on the fund. 
The Committee consisted of the president and Messrs. Williston, Hardy, 
Gillett, and Bowles. 

We already know the members of this Committee except the last 
named. Samuel Bowles, the second of that name, was a trustee of 
Amherst from 1866 till 1878. In 1879 he was awarded the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts by the College. He was born in Springfield in 
1826 and was educated in the local schools and in the printing office 
of his father, the founder of The Republican. When he was eighteen he 
persuaded his father to establish The Daily Republican, of which he 
became the editor. He made this paper, in the words of Tyler, "the 
ablest, most influential, and the most successful provincial newspaper 
in America, if not in the world." 

In determining a site for the proposed Walker Hall, the Board had 
asked the president, with Messrs. Williston and Hardy, to confer with 
Dr. Walker. And for the first time, as far as I can find, the Board had 
consulted a professional landscape architect. Their selection was felici- 
tous; they consulted Calvert Vaux. Born in England, he had come to 
this country as a young man and had worked on plans for the grounds 
of the Capitol in Washington. Later he formed a partnership with 
Frederick Law Olmsted of New York; the firm soon became the leading 
landscape architects of the country. Vaux seems to have been the 
partner who advised Amherst at this time. Subsequently, Olmsted be- 
came the College's consultant, and in 1867 the College conferred upon 
him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. Olmsted and his son, 
Frederick L., Jr., continued as consultants for the College from time 
to time into this century. 

The site selected involved the purchase of about two and a half 
acres of land from Lucius Boltwood on the north side of the campus. 
The College paid $9,956.17 for the land, which sum was regarded by 
the Board as exorbitant. Several architects who were consulted sub- 
mitted preliminary plans. These were reviewed by a committee of 
the Board, and, on the recommendation of Alpheus Hardy, the plan 
submitted by George Hathorne of New York was adopted. 

The contract for the masonry was let to Richard H. Ponsonby, and 
that for the carpentry to Chauncey W. Lessey (i 837-1 877) of Amherst. 
The material selected was Monson granite and was given by my 
grandfather, William N. Flynt of Monson, who owned the granite 
quarry. Professor Shepard went to Monson to inspect the granite as 
it was being cut, and published an account of his visit in the Amherst 

Student. My grandfather made no mention of this gift to his family; 
I learned of it for the first time after I became president of the College. 
He was a first cousin, by marriage, of Edward Dickinson who was then 
the treasurer of the College. The gift of the granite was doubtless 
stimulated by Dickinson. 

The cornerstone of Walker Hall was laid on June lo, 1868, at a 
formal ceremony presided over by Edward Dickinson. "A procession 
of students and visitors, being formed on the green west of Williston 
Hall, marched across the grounds to the library, conducted by the 
Mendelssohn Band, where they received the trustees, officers of the 
College, and guests who were present, and thence passed over to the 
site of the building." 

Treasurer Dickinson introduced the services with these words: "We 
now stand on solid rock, and are today to place on its foundation the 
corner-stone of an edifice beautiful in design, tasteful in its proportions, 
ample in its dimensions, appropriate in all its appointments." A "fer- 
vent" prayer was offered by Dr. Vaill, and the cornerstone was placed 
by representatives of the senior class, who were celebrating their Class 
Day. After a hymn, a paper was read by the president; Alpheus Hardy 
spoke for the Board; Professor Snell spoke for the faculty; and the 
audience joined in singing "Praise God, from whom all blessings 
flow," Both the president and the treasurer referred to the building as 
the "Temple of Science." 

Two years later, on October 20, 1870, the building was formally 
opened at another impressive service. On this occasion the elements 
combined to make what the president referred to as "a day of mark." 
There was "a first-class earthquake in the morning, and the clouds 
of a grand down-pouring in the afternoon." The president gave an 
extended address covering his theories of education. The address, in 
fact, covers thirty-five large printed pages. Austin Dickinson, the son 
of the treasurer, who had been in general charge of construction, spoke 
briefly, as did Professor Snell and Professor Roswell Dwight Hitchcock 
of Union Theological Seminary, who had recently been elected to the 
Amherst Board. "The concluding part of the programme was cut 
short by darkening clouds and premature evening . . . and further 
speech-making seemed unnecessary." 

President Stearns' address on this occasion stands in striking contrast 
to an address delivered a year before by the young Charles William 
Eliot on the occasion of his inauguration as president of Harvard, 
Stearns' alma mater. It may well have been a reply. Eliot's address 
breathes the modern spirit which he brought to educational thinking 
and which was to transform Harvard College into a great university. 


Stearns' address is a defense of the old curriculum based on Latin, 
Greek, and mathematics, infused throughout with emphasis on the 
doctrinal orthodoxy of Calvinism. The expanding field of science, he 
contended, must not be allowed to crowd out the classics and mathe- 
matics as the core of the curriculum. The address made a strong appeal 
to the ministers on the Amherst Board, and the Board ordered it 
printed. As one reads it today, one realizes that it might have been 
delivered fifty years earlier by President Humphrey, but that it would 
have been impossible for Hitchcock to have composed it. 

It is difficult today to realize how proud the College and the com- 
munity were of this building. It was, of course, much the largest build- 
ing on the college grounds. It had cost, with the purchase of the land 
and the grading, about $125,000, almost as much as all the previous 
buildings on the campus. President Stearns described the style of 
architecture as "that known as revised mediaeval," and added that 
the building was "the largest, most convenient, most expensive, most 
princely edifice on our grounds." And Tyler, writing two years later, 
remarks that "with an exterior worthy of a palace, it installs, not to 
say enthrones, mathematics and physics in rooms and halls 'fit for the 
crowned truth to dwell in.' 

"On the first floor were recitation rooms and division rooms for 
mathematics and astronomy, and the treasurer's office and vault, on 
the second ffoor the president's lecture room and private office, the 
trustees' room, a philosophical lecture and recitation room, and a fine 
apparatus room. The third storey contained a lecture room for the 
department of natural history, and for the accommodation of cabinets, 
especially that splendid collection of minerals gathered by Professor 
Shepard, which constitutes one of the most brilliant ornaments of the 

The pride taken in the building enhanced the tragedy of the fire 
which gutted the building a dozen years later, in 1882. Fortunately, 
neither the president nor Treasurer Edward Dickinson lived to see the 

Meanwhile, other building problems were occupying the attention 
of the Board. Maintenance of Johnson Chapel had been neglected and 
the building was in serious need of extensive repairs. These were 
made at a cost of about $15,000, approximately the original cost of 
the building. The Board voted to charge the cost to the income of the 
Stimson Fund. 

Since the library had already outgrown its quarters, a committee 
reported in favor of erecting a new building. At the annual meeting 
of the Board in 1863 the Committee on the Library made a report 

which it was later to regret. The Committee recommended that when 
the present Hbrary was no longer needed for its present purpose, the 
land and building be leased to Professor Seelye for a term of years at 
a rental to cover interest and taxes on a fair valuation; that he be 
allowed to make alterations to make it a dwelling house; and that the 
improvements made by him be paid for by the College at the end of 
his occupancy at a figure to be fixed by disinterested arbitrators. The 
Board approved the Committee's report. This is one of the few actions 
of the Board for which we can now see no sound excuse. Apparently 
an agreement was made with Seelye as a result of this vote, for in 
1867 the Board found itself embarrassed by its action and agreed to 
pay Seelye $2,000 to be released from the agreement. Two thousand 
dollars was equivalent to a year's salary for a professor. 

As the library was continuing to grow, in April 1868 the Board ap- 
pointed a special committee to consider plans for a new library building 
and to consider the possibility of uniting with it a Memorial Hall in 
commemoration of the Amherst men who had fallen in the war. The 
Committee included Trustees Storrs and Beecher, both distinguished 
leaders of the clergy, Alpheus Hardy, the Boston merchant, Pro- 
fessor L. Clark Seelye from the faculty, and the president. The Com- 
mittee was asked to confer with David Sears for a subscription and 
to seek other subscriptions. Apparently they were unsuccessful and 
the College managed to get along for a number of years with an over- 
crowded library building. 

The use of gas for street lighting was adopted in Boston in 1822 and 
in New York a year later. It was fifty years before the town of Amherst 
was in a position to light its streets. In 1868 a group of citizens canvassed 
the situation and conferred with the two colleges to see if they would 
introduce gas into the college buildings. Nothing came of the move- 
ment. In 1873 the town installed ten lampposts with oil-burning lamps 
which were lighted every night "except when the moon was bright." 

On August 19, 1875, a meeting was held in the office of Austin 
Dickinson to consider again the introduction of gas. In 1877 the Am- 
herst Gas Company was formed, with a capital of $5,000 and seventeen 
stockholders. Among the directors were President Seelye and Treasurer 
Dickinson of the College. In 1883 the town installed gas lamps for 
street lighting. 

The College acquired no stock in the gas company but gradually 
introduced gas into some of the college buildings. In 1878 the College 
had gas in the laboratory, in 1879 in Johnson Chapel, Barrett Gym- 


nasium, Walker Hall, and College Hall, in 1883 in Morgan I,ibrary, 
and in 1885 in Stearns Church. 

At the same time that the president and the Board were engaged 
in these matters and in developing the plans for the erection of Walker 
Hall, they had before them the proposal for building a college church. 
At the annual meeting of the Board in July 1864, the president presented 
a letter from his son, William F. Stearns of Bombay, offering to give 
the College the generous sum of 830,000 for the purpose. The Board re- 
ferred the letter to a special committee composed of Dr. Vaill, the 
senior member of the Board in length of service, and Nathan Allen, 
the Lowell physician. 

William F. Stearns was a romantic figure. Born in Cambridgeport 
in 1 834 when his father was pastor there, he had been fired from early 
boyhood with the ambition to go to India to seek his fortune. As soon 
as he finished school, he entered the employ of a Boston shipping firm, 
walking two and a half miles to and from his work each day. At 
twenty-two he shipped to Calcutta as supercargo. At twenty-four he 
established his own firm in Bombay, dealing in cotton and East India 
goods. He was extraordinarily successful in business, and as soon as 
he was well established he returned to Massachusetts and married 
Mary E. Kittredge, his boyhood sweetheart from New Hampshire, and 
took her back to Bombay. 

He later became interested in other activities in the expanding 
economy of India, including a shipping company which carried goods 
from Bombay through the Red Sea to Suez, and then by rail to the 
Mediterranean for transshipment to Europe. He personally conducted 
successful negotiations with the Pasha of Egypt, who owned the rail- 
road, to secure low freight rates. He helped to fit out a Livingstone 
expedition to Africa, and entertained David Livingstone in his home. 
And he weathered two financial depressions, though with some sub- 
stantial losses. 

He had expected to return later to the United States, but his de- 
parture was hastened by concern for Mrs. Stearns' eyesight which 
suffered from the Indian climate. Not long after his return, settled in 
Orange, New Jersey, and with seven children, he suffered financial 
ruin through the defalcation of the trusted agent in India whom he 
had left in charge of his affairs. He died a poor man in 1874, at the 
age of thirty-nine. 

The offer of $30,000 for a college church contained the following 
conditions, which were accepted by the trustees, and which, of course, 
commended themselves to the Amherst Board, made up as it was at 
this time: 

"i. The Church is to be used by the College for strictly religious 
observances, especially for Christian worship and preaching, 
and for no other purpose. 

"2. The preacher shall always profess the full and earnest belief 
in the religion of the Old and New Testaments as a super- 
natural revelation from God, and in Jesus Christ as the Divine 
and only Savior, 'Who was crucified for our sins and rose again 
for our justification' — and generally for substance of doctrine, 
in the evangelical system or gospel of Christ, as understood by 
the original projectors and founders of the College. 

"3. The preacher, in the pulpit, and in all the exercises of the 
Church, shall exhibit that sobriety, dignity and reverence of 
manner and expression which becomes the sacredness of the 
place and is in keeping with those deep and solemn emotions 
which true Christians are supposed to experience. 

"4. In constructing the building, arrangements may be made for 
the usual Vestry accommodations, and other collateral con- 
veniences not inconsistent with the grand purposes in view. 

"5. In selecting a site for the Building, a proper regard shall be had 
to retirement and quiet, and to opportunity for enclosing and 
ornamenting the grounds." 

As we shall see, at a later time Conditions i and 2 were to trouble 
subsequent members of the Amherst Board in the honest exercise of 
their responsibilities. At the time of the gift they must have seemed to 
constitute a strong bulwark against the rising tide of Unitarianism, as 
well as against the inroads which the new scientific discoveries were 
making in the ramparts of the traditional Calvinism of "the projectors 
and founders of the College." As President Stearns phrased it, Amherst 
should continue to be a beacon "on the shores of time, throwing out a 
light far into that dark sea of immortality which is always surging 
within our hearing." 

The president pointed out further that the building should be called 
a church, a word with a Christian etymology, and not a chapel, de- 
rived "from the Latin word capella meaning only a short cloak, hood 
or cowl" which "has no Christian significance." 

While the gift was made in 1864, the actual construction was de- 
layed for nearly six years, partly because of building conditions after 
the war, partly to allow the fund to accumulate, and partly because 
of the difficulty the Board found in choosing an appropriate location. 
And when the donor lost his fortune, the Board offered to return his 
gift, but he declined to accept it. 


The problem of location was perplexing because so many sites were 
proposed and each had its warm adherents. Among the locations 
seriously considered were the lot just south of the president's house, 
now forming a part of the president's grounds; a location about half 
way between Williston and the president's house with the building 
facing north; a location east of Appleton near where the War Memorial 
is now situated; a position in the center of the college grove about 
halfway between the chapel and the present Stearns and James Halls; 
and a location on the eastern side of the campus, implying the present 
or subsequent removal of East College which had been erected only 
seven years before the gift for the church was received. As Tyler re- 
marks, "Thus like a wavering needle drawn in opposite directions by 
various magnets, the church seemed to change front and position at 
different times towards all points of the compass. But it settled at 
length towards the rising sun." 

The Board in its perplexity sought the advice "of the best architec- 
tural and gardening skill in the country" and their unanimous verdict 
was in favor of the site just east of East College. The landscape advice 
was obtained from Vaux and Olmsted. 

The architect selected was William Appleton Potter (i 842-1 909) of 
New York. Potter was the son of Bishop Alonzo Potter and the grand- 
son of Eliphalet Nott, for many years the president of Union College. 
William Appleton Potter graduated from Union in 1 864, having spe- 
cialized in chemistry. The following year he was an assistant professor of 
chemistry at Columbia, after which he spent a year in France in further 
study of the subject. On his return to New York he gave up chemistry 
and entered the architectural office of his elder brother in Wall Street. 
His brother had studied Gothic architecture under Upjohn when the 
latter came to New York from England. William Appleton Potter's 
only training in the profession to which he was to devote his life seems 
to have been as a junior in his brother's office. The Stearns Church 
seems to have been one of his first commissions, for he was selected by 
President Stearns only three years after he had abandoned chemistry 
for architecture. Doubtless his selection was based on his family con- 
nections in the church and in Union College, for he could not have 
yet made any record in his new profession. Later he was selected by 
Princeton as architect for its Chancellor Green Library and its College 
of Sciences, neither of them particularly successful from an aesthetic 
point of view. And in 1875 he was appointed by President Grant su- 
pervising architect to the Treasury Department, a post which he held 
for only one year. Among the buildings which he designed after the 
completion of the Stearns Church were the old Post Office Building in 

Boston, three churches in New York, and many churches elsewhere, 
also buildings for Princeton, Yale, and Teachers' College. Amherst 
helped to give him a start on a career which seems to have been un- 
distinguished in professional accomplishment. 

In 1869 the Board appointed a Building Committee composed of 
the president, Trustees Williston, Hardy, and Gillett, and William 
Austin Dickinson, son of the treasurer. Dickinson was in detailed charge 
of the erection of Walker Hall. The church was built under the personal 
supervision of the president, "to whose watchful eye and excellent 
taste, scarcely less than to the art and science of the architect, the 
building owes its perfection." The material was Monson granite from 
the Flynt quarry. 

The cornerstone was laid on September 22, 1870, and the ceremony 
included an introductory statement by the president and an address by 
Reverend Christopher Cushing of Boston, formerly for many years 
pastor in North Brookfield, who received the honorary degree of Doctor 
of Divinity from the College at the following Commencement. Dr. 
Cushing deplored the decline in the number of the alumni of the old 
New England colleges who were entering the ministry, and called for 
"maintaining the old American College system and the importance of 
the College Church as a means of grace to the students and as the means 
of furnishing ministers of the gospel." The clergy were, in fact, be- 
coming deeply disturbed "by the secularizing and materialistic spirit 
of the age which would paganize the public schools, and make the 
College a University from which that element only should be excluded, 
viz. religion, which was originally its very life and breath." 

By the following spring the president was writing to Governor Bullock 
of the Board, "Our new church progresses and by universal agreement 
will be very beautiful and appropriate." But later in the same letter 
he adds, "The building is a little churchy for us old puritans, Mr. Potter, 
the Architect, being the son of a Bishop, but why would Congrega- 
tionalists even, wish to cut ourselves off from all the sacred and beautiful 
of the great past." 

The college church was completed in 1 873 and dedicated on July i 
of that year. Tyler described it as "unquestionably the brightest archi- 
tectural jewel on the brow of College Hill." 

During the years immediately following the Civil War, the College 
had been considering an appropriate form of memorial for the Am- 
herst men who had fallen in battle, but no agreement had been reached 
as to its appropriate form. In the summer of 1870, George Howe of 
Boston offered the College a memorial chime of bells, to be placed in 
the new college church, "in honor and commemoration of the members 


and graduates of this College who gave their lives to their country"; 
the offer was gratefully accepted by the Board. Mr. Howe's own son, 
Sidney Walker Howe of the Amherst class of 1 859, a first lieutenant in 
the First Regiment of the New York Excelsior Brigade, had fallen in 
the battle of Williamsburg in 1862. 

The plan called for a memorial room in the spire beneath the chimes, 
with a marble tablet set in the wall bearing the names of the fallen, 
a tile floor with appropriate inscription, stained glass windows with 
appropriate designs, together with the gun captured in the battle of 
Newburn, and other relics of the war. The chimes were installed, but 
the remainder of the plan was never carried out, probably because of 
lack of funds. The chimes were played for the first time at the semi- 
centennial celebration in 1871. 

President Stearns declared that the chimes served "the double pur- 
pose of throwing out upon the breezes the sweet invitation of Christian 
psalmody to worship on the Lord's day and of commemorating in 
patriotic and soothing melodies on appropriate occasions the nobleness 
of our sons and brothers who honored the College, while they shed their 
blood for Christ and their native land." The president's own son, 
Frazar Augustus Stearns, of the class of 1863, ist Lieutenant, Com- 
pany I, 2 1 St Massachusetts Volunteers, had been lost at Newburn in 
1862, one of the earliest casualties of the war. 

At the annual meeting of the Board in July 1874, the treasurer was 
instructed to settle the outstanding accounts arising from the building 
of the College Church. The total cost had been about $70,000, of which 
about half had come from the Stearns gift and accumulated income. 
The remainder the College had to borrow. Alpheus Hardy and others 
contributed from time to time toward "extinguishing the debt resting 
on the Church." 

It is unfortunate that one detail in the construction of the College 
Church was handled in a way to leave wounds which rankled for a 
generation. The story is told in the unpublished reminiscences of Pro- 
fessor Edward Hitchcock, Jr., — "Old Doc" to two generations of 
Amherst men. The president had secured a special gift for the church 
organ and an order was placed for the instrument. When it was in- 
stalled, the donor was unable or unwilling to make good his pledge. 
The organ company threatened to remove the instrument unless its 
bill was paid. Invitations for the dedication were already out. The 
College paid the bill. Then, according to "Old Doc," the faculty were 
"mulcted" of a portion of their salaries for two or three years to meet 
this cost. The story sounds entirely irregular, but "Old Doc" conferred 
with the surviving members of the faculty before he wrote this chapter; 

they agreed as to the fact, and agreed further that the College had not 
later reimbursed them. Of course they never forgot the incident. 

Unfortunately, it is impossible to prove or to disprove this story. 
The trustee minutes for this period, and many of the college account 
books, were destroyed in the Walker Hall fire. I have examined all 
extant records and find no corroborative evidence. "Old Doc" wrote 
his story a third of a century later when his memory and that of his 
aging contemporaries may have played him false. For the story is out 
of character for the Board and inconsistent with all their other actions. 
We know that the cost of living was rising seriously in the Civil War. 
We know that the Board voted a gratuity of Sioo to each professor in 
July 1863 and expressed the hope that they could soon increase salaries. 
A year later, the Board voted a gratuity of S300 to each professor. In 
1866 the professorial salary scale was raised to $2,000. In 1871 it was 
raised to $2,500. There follows a complete blank in our information. 
Then, in 1880, we find the professorial salary scale at $2,375, ^ ^^" 
crease of $125, or five per cent. 

The country had been through the worst depression in its history. 
The income of the College had dropped, its debts had increased, and 
its Finance Committee had considered its condition serious. Mean- 
while, the cost of living had dropped substantially. The only conclusion 
I can come to is that the Board was forced to reduce the salary scale 
by five per cent, and that this action was taken because of the serious 
financial situation facing the College and had nothing whatever to 
do with the payment for the church organ. The Board at the time 
had a special committee for conference with the faculty on salary scale, 
though we do not know the makeup of the committee. 

As we review the building of Walker Hall and the College Church 
with the advantage of hindsight, we are surprised that the Board em- 
barked on the construction of the church when only half of the neces- 
sary funds were in hand. It was a bold action, doubtless promoted by 
the president for reasons of sentiment, and supported by Williston, the 
richest member of the Board at the time. Williston was a sanguine 
man. "Everybody stood at a distance from him," records a contem- 
porary chronicler. He was self-confident, he was successful. And the 
temper of the country was one of self-confidence after the war. When 
Stearns asked Williston whether they should plan the church for the 
present or for a hundred years to come, he instantly replied, "For 
five hundred years." Today, no one, I suppose, thinks he can see 
ahead very far into the future. Then, they spoke confidently of half a 
millennium. The country was riding the rising tide of prosperity and 
expansion and Williston's attitude was that of the leaders of finance 


and business of the time. The country had suivived the great Chicago 
fire of 1871 and the disastrous Boston fire of November 1872. Prices, 
it is true, were high. GorneUus Vanderbilt, the great captain of industry, 
was paying $120 per ton for steel rails for the New York Central. 
Money was growing tighter. 

The church was dedicated on the ist of July. Two months and a 
half later came the failure of Jay Cooke & Co., followed by the failure 
of other great banking houses, the closing of the New York Stock 
Exchange, and the panic of 1873, followed by the long depression. 
Prices plummeted, unemployment was high, wages dropped, and there 
was widespread suffering. The College had done its building at the 
high level of costs and now had a debt on the church which must be 

Edward Dickinson, who had served the College as treasurer for 
nearly forty years, was old and weary, and retired at his own request. 
At a special meeting of the Board at the Massasoit House in Springfield 
on December i, 1873, his son, William Austin Dickinson, who had 
graduated from the College in the class of 1 850, was elected to succeed 
him, and a committee on finance composed of Trustees Bullock, Hardy, 
and Edwards was appointed to consult with him. Austin Dickinson 
we have already seen as in charge of the building of Walker Hall and 
as a member of the building committee for the church. He was young 
and vigorous, but he assumed the treasurershlp of the College at a 
time of extraordinary crisis. Within a year his father died. 

President Stearns' work was nearly over. The death of his wife, 
the loss of his son Frazar in the war, and the death of his son William 
had shaken him severely. The Board reduced his responsibilities by 
transferring some of them to the new treasurer. They urged him to take 
a trip to Europe at the expense of the College. But his course was 
nearly run, and the College was facing the difficult problems of a 
prolonged depression. He wrote his resignation as president, but before 
the meeting at which he intended to pi-esent it, he passed away quietly 
in his sleep at the age of seventy-one. 

He had served the College as president for twenty-two years, the 
same term as Heman Humphrey. No president has served Amherst 
longer. He had been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws 
by Harvard, and of Doctor of Divinity by Princeton. He had presided 
at the semicentennial celebration of the College. The endowment had 
grown from about $150,000 to about $600,000. Williston Hall, East 
College, Barrett Gymnasium, College Hall, Walker Hall, and the Col- 
lege Church had been added to the plant. "Old" North College had 
been lost by fire. Johnson Chapel had been refurbished. The campus 

had been extended. Gifts to the College during his term of office were 
estimated by Tyler as close to three-quarters of a million dollars. But 
perhaps twenty per cent of this amount proved to be in securities 
which the College was unable to sell and which finally had to be charged 
off as loss. It was a good record, a very good record, of accomplish- 
ment. And he left a sound college for his successor. 


Chapter V 

Julius Hawley Seelye was elected the fifth president of the College 
at a special meeting of the Board in July 1876. He had already served 
for eighteen years as professor of moral philosophy and metaphysics. 
He was the first alumnus of the College to hold the president's office. 
He had graduated in the class of 1 849 and was a classmate of Edward 
Hitchcock, Jr., who was a colleague and professor of hygiene and 
physical education. Seelye had made a trip around the world three 
years earlier and was now serving his first term in Congress, having 
been elected on an independent ticket, defeating both his Republican 
and Democratic opponents. He was fifty-two years old. His inaugura- 
tion was delayed until the following year, so that he could serve out 
his term in the Congress; during his absence in Washington, Professor 
Tyler was acting-president. In his earlier years Seelye had been the 
strongest and most robust man on the faculty, but from 1885 until 
his resignation in 1 890 he suffered from serious ill health which finally 
forced him to withdraw from all active work. During the twelve years 
when he was the active head of the College he made an extraordinary 
record, and he now ranks with Hitchcock as one of the great presidents 
of Amherst. 

Seelye advised the Board, when he accepted the presidency, that 
he would prefer to live in his own home instead of moving into the 
president's house. The Seelye house was at 56 College Street and is 
now the property of the Phi Alpha Psi Fraternity. The Board approved 
his suggestion and presently rented the president's house. The tenant 
during the entire term of the Seelye administration was Mrs. Stearns, 
widow of William French Stearns, whose gift had made possible the 
College Church. On the death of her husband she had been invited 
by President Stearns to bring her children to Amherst. Now, on his 
death, she was left with seven children and no means of support. She 
was a gallant woman of great ability and force of character, and she 
started a school for girls in the president's house. From a memorandum 
prepared long ago by the treasurer I learn that the rental was $250 


Walker Hall before the fire and today 

for the first year and S500 for subsequent years. At the end of the 
Seelye administration, when the College needed the house for his suc- 
cessor, Mrs. Stearns bought a house on Snell Street and moved her 
family and her school to the new location. One of her children was 
Alfred E. Stearns, who later graduated from Amherst in the class of 
1 894, and who later still served with marked distinction as a member of 
the Amherst Board, succeeding Mr. Plimpton as chairman of the Board. 
The story of Mrs. Stearns' school has been well told by one of her 
students, Millicent Todd Bingham, daughter of Professor David Todd. 
One of the first significant additions to the college plant in the 
Seelye administration we owe to an unusual undergraduate who acted 
on the advice of Dr. Hitchcock. In the early days of the College such 
outdoor sports as there were were played in the college grove. When 
intercollegiate sports were introduced, the Amherst teams were obliged 
to use the Hampshire County fairgrounds and race track. The field 
was a long way from the College and was too rough to be suitable for 
baseball. In 1877, Lucien Ira Blake, one of the best students in the 
senior class and president of the Amherst Athletic Association, decided 
to secure a proper field. The faculty excused him from all classes and 
he went to New York to solicit funds. He secured some $20,000, one 
of the donors being Charles Pratt, father of Charles M. Pratt of '79. 
Blake then returned to Amherst, took up the options he had secured 
on land south of the present Pratt Field, and personally superintended 
the workmen in preparing the land for athletic contests. In May the 
work was completed, and in June Amherst played Harvard on the 
new field, which was named Blake Field by vote of both faculty and 
students. Its usefulness was destroyed when the tracks of the Massa- 
chusetts Central Railroad were laid through it. In 1888 the property 
now known as Blake Field was purchased by the College from Pro- 
fessor Elijah P. Harris. It had been used for games as far back, at 
least, as 1881. 

Lucien Ira Blake (i 852-1 91 6) carried on postgraduate work in 
physics at Amherst and the University of Berlin, where he took his 
doctorate in 1883. He taught physics for a number of years, and later 
became a consulting engineer. He invented the Blake ore separator 
and a submarine signaling device. 

The first statement I have found of Seelye's program for the de- 
velopment of the college plant is contained in a letter of his to a young 
alumnus who had graduated in the class of 1876, a few weeks before 
Seelye's election — George Arthur Plimpton. The letter is dated 
March 2, 1881, and outlines the needs of the College. The keynote of 
the letter is contained in the following sentence: "The general truth 


about the College is that we have outgrown our accommodations, but 
this growth does not furnish us the means for new housing." And before 
discussing the need for additional endowment for faculty salaries, 
Seelye outlines the needs for additional plant facilities. These he sug- 
gests are: 

"i. An extension of the library building; cost $25,000 

"2. A new and model dormitory to take the place of East College, 
with apartments in it for a family, together with kitchen and 
dining rooms, where our students could board if they should 
choose, and where our Commencement dinners could take 
place; cost $50,000 

"3. A new chemical laboratory; cost Si 0,000 

"4. A new gymnasium; cost $20,000." 

Then he adds that "it is a fixed rule never to start on enlargement till 
we have the means for it. We are not going to run in debt, but will 
use our present means as best we may till more are provided." He 
was reverting to Hitchcock's policy after observing the heavy debt 
which hung over the College during the long depression of 1873, due 
to the fact that his predecessor and the Board had had to borrow money 
to help finance the building program on which they had embarked. 

A year later, and before Seelye had had an opportunity to secure the 
necessary funds for any of these projects, the College suflfered a stag- 
gering blow. On the night of March 29, 1882, fire broke out in Walker 
Hall. "Not a person could enter the burning building," says Tyler. 
"From the moment when the fire was discovered, probably almost 
from the moment the building took fire, the interior from roof to 
basement was wrapped in one universal sheet of flame. It was vacation. 
The faculty was mostly out of town. President Seelye was in Bethel, 
Connecticut. He was at first almost overwhelmed by the intelligence. 
The calamity was the harder to bear, because the property was in- 
sured for less than half its value." 

Everything in the building was lost except what was in the vaults: 
the Shepard collection of minerals for which the College was paying 
$40,000 and which Shepard valued at $75,000; the mathematical dia- 
grams of Professor Esty; the astronomical calculations of Professor 
Todd; the apparatus of Professor Snell; the official and private papers 
of President Seelye; and the second volume of the minutes of the Board 
of Trustees containing the records from Commencement 1868 to 
Commencement 1881. 

The building, which had cost over $100,000, was insured for $35,000, 
the contents for $15,000. Tyler remarked later that he hoped the fire 

had taught the College two lessons of worldly wisdom: first, to handle 
with more care inflammable paints and varnishes; and second, to in- 
sure for full value buildings built with charity funds. The president's 
family were afraid that the president would resign his office on his 
return from Bethel. But that was not Seelye; he gathered his strength 
to rebuild. 

A special meeting of the Board was called to meet in Boston at the 
office of Henry Hyde, '6i, the Boston lawyer and trustee. Hyde had 
been elected to the Board in 1877 and served till his death in 1897. 
Seelye had prepared himself thoroughly for the meeting. It was not 
his fault that Walker Hall and the other college buildings were under- 
insured. This had been the policy of the Board since the founding of 
the College, as we have seen. The College had lost "Old" North College 
by fire a quarter century before and had found itself with insurance 
for about one third of its loss. Now the College had lost its largest and 
most costly building, with its contents, and the insurance would cover 
less than a third of the loss. 

Seelye now outlined to the Board his program for the development 
of the plant of the College. He said that within a week of the Walker 
Hall fire he had obtained a gift of $50,000 from Thomas H. McGraw, 
'69, of Poughkeepsie "to aid in the immediate restoration of the lost 
building." McGraw wished his gift to constitute a fund to endow a 
professorship, but this would release other college funds for rebuilding, 
McGraw had attended Amherst only two years as a member of the 
class of 1 869. He had been successful in the lumber business in Michigan 
and New York states, and at the previous Commencement the College 
had made him a graduate by awarding him the honorary degree of 
Master of Arts. 

The Board accepted the McGraw gift with deep appreciation, and 
in 1 884 he was elected to the Board. In payment of his gift, he gave 
the College his note for $50,000 with interest at six per cent. For three 
years he paid the interest on the note. Then, for some reason which 
does not appear in our records, he became disaffected. In 1891 he 
resigned from the Board. The note was carried on the books for some 
time as an asset, but was finally charged off". The three years' interest 
which the College received amounted to $9,000. 

The Board voted to rebuild Walker Hall at once. It appointed a 
committee of the president and treasurer and Trustees Sanford, Hyde, 
and Walker to select a plan for its reconstruction, and a second com- 
mittee of the president, treasurer, Professor Mather, and A. L. Williston 
as a Building Committee. 

John E. Sanford, '51, Taunton lawyer and public servant, had been 


elected to the Board in 1874 and served till 1907. For the last eight 
years of his term he was president of the Board. 

Francis Amasa Walker, '60, was one of the most romantic figures in 
the history of the College. Soon after graduation from college, he 
joined the Union Army, without a commission, and was promoted 
through grades to the rank of Brigadier General. He was captured 
several times by the Confederates, was confined in Libby Prison, but 
each time managed to escape. At the age of thirty he was superintendent 
of the United States Census, at thirty-two a full professor at Yale. At 
thirty-six, the Amherst Board were inclined to elect him president of 
the College, but the clerical members of the Board considered him not 
evangelical enough. At thirty-nine he was elected an alumni trustee 
of the College, and at forty-one he became president of Massachusetts 
Institute of Technology, where he rendered services to that institution 
similar to those of President Hitchcock to Amherst. General Walker 
was awarded honorary degrees by Amherst, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, 
and St. Andrews, Scotland. 

Professor Richard Henry Mather, '57, was a member of the college 
faculty from 1859 till 1890, professor of Greek and lecturer on sculpture, 
a trustee ofWilliston Seminary, and a member of the Managing Com- 
mittee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He was 
the first member of the faculty in the field of the arts. 

Asahel Lyman Williston (honorary Master of Arts at Amherst in 
1 881) was a nephew of Samuel Williston and president of the First 
National Bank of Northampton, trustee of Williston Academy, treas- 
urer of Mount Holyoke College, and trustee of Smith College. His 
two sons, Robert L. and Harry S., graduated from Amherst in the 
classes of 1892 and 1895. Though never a member of the Amherst 
Board, he served on the Prudential Committee until 1892. 

The Committee to select a plan for rebuilding Walker consulted 
several architects and finally selected one of the two plans proposed by 
Peabody & Stearns of Boston. There was some difference of opinion 
between the Committee and the architect, which was finally ironed out 
in conference on the ground. The plan for the first and second floors 
followed the original design, but the third floor was made into class- 
rooms, as the collections housed there had been destroyed. The con- 
tract for reconstruction was let to William N. Flynt & Company of 
Monson, my grandfather's firm. It will be recalled that he had con- 
tributed the granite for the building originally. The work went forward 
rapidly and when it was completed the president advised the alumni 
that it was "a magnificent structure, not only solidly built but hand- 
somely finished." 

The cost of reconstruction was nearly Si 00,000, and the trustees 
used the insurance money of about $35,000, together with about 
$42,000 from the Morgan bequest. In 1884 a debt of $5,300 on the 
original building was paid from the Walker legacy. 

The insurance money of $1 5,000 on the contents of Walker was applied 
first to the payment of the remaining debt on the collections which had 
been destroyed, and the balance was used to purchase new apparatus. 

The trustees immediately increased the insurance on the college 
buildings by $300,000 and instructed the Prudential Committee to 
purchase fire extinguishers and to study the problem of protecting 
Appleton Cabinet, with its collections, from fire. 

The choice of architect is interesting. The Board at this time seems 
to have consulted several firms and asked each to submit sketches. 
The firm selected was Peabody & Stearns of Boston, who had designed 
Matthews Hall for Harvard ten years earlier. Robert Swain Peabody 
(1843-1917) was born in New Bedford. His father was at one time 
minister of King's Chapel in Boston, and his mother was a Salem Derby. 
Peabody graduated from Harvard in 1866 and studied at the ficole 
des Beaux Arts at Paris, where he became a warm friend of Charles F. 
McKim. On his return to Boston, he formed a partnership with John G. 
Stearns, Harvard '63, and the firm had a long and honorable record 
for forty-five years. Peabody was the designer and Stearns supervised 
the construction. Among the many buildings designed by the firm 
were Matthews Hall and Hemenway Gymnasium for Harvard, the 
Exchange Building and the Custom House Tower in Boston, Groton 
School, the State House in Concord, the City Hall and the State Mutual 
Life Insurance Building in Worcester, Simmons College in Boston, 
and the Union League Club in New York. 

While Harvard had selected Peabody for two buildings in the 1870's, 
it chose Henry Hobson Richardson in 1880 to design Sever Hall, and 
three years later to design Austin Hall for the Harvard Law School. 
Richardson (i 838-1 886), who had graduated from Harvard in the 
class of 1 859, is now regarded as perhaps the greatest architect of his 
time. Both McKim and Stanford White were learning their profession 
in his office when he designed Trinity Church in Boston. Dean Hudnut 
of the Harvard Graduate School of Design considers Sever Hall "the 
most American of our [Harvard's] buildings — and our most important 
one ... a turning point in the course of American architecture." Sever 
and Austin today are proud ornaments of the Hai-vard plant, while our 
Walker Hall, in the style which the good President Stearns described as 
"revised mediaeval," stands as an enduring monument of good masonry. 

Almost a year before the Walker Hall fire, Seelye had called the 


attention of the Board to the fact that the library building was so 
crowded as to make necessary either the enlargement of the existing 
building or the erection of a new building. And he pointed out that 
the gift of David Sears of Boston of $5,000 for this purpose, made in 
January 1864, had now grown by the accumulation of interest and 
the addition of other contributions for the purpose to $25,000. A 
committee had been appointed to study the problem. At the special 
meeting in March 1882, after disposing of the questions arising from 
the fire, the president again brought up the question of the library, 
and the Board voted that the committee "proceed in the business com- 
mitted to them." The Building Committee was the same as the Com- 
mittee for Walker. The Committee made a careful study of the Col- 
lege's needs, examined the libraries of other colleges, and selected 
Francis R. Allen of the class of 1865, of the firm of Allen & Kenway 
of Boston, as architects. 

Francis Richmond Allen (i 843-1 931) was born in Boston and gradu- 
ated from Amherst in the class of 1865. For the next ten years he was 
engaged in the dry goods business in Boston. Then he studied architec- 
ture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the ficole des 
Beaux Arts in Paris, Allen & Kenway later became Allen & Collens 
and, under Carl Collens, is today a leading firm in Boston. Allen 
received the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Williams College 
in 1905 and from Amherst in 191 2. The successor firm of Allen & 
Collens was retained to make studies of possible changes in Stearns 
Church in the 1920's, but adequate funds to carry out the changes were 
not available. 

The work on the library went on at the same time as the rebuilding 
of Walker and both were finished in the following summer (1883). 
Professor Mather, who acted as agent of the Committee to oversee 
the process of construction, proved to be an excellent choice for this 
post. As he carried his regular work in the College at the same time, 
he had an uncommonly busy year. 

The library addition was a fireproof structure forty feet high, and 
forty feet square, divided into six stories for the storage of books, and 
added on the west side of the existing building. The floors for the 
addition were cast iron, and the stacks were of iron. A new entrance 
was added, with a tower containing the staircase to the second floor 
of the existing building. The Nineveh tablets were then transferred 
from the wing of the Octagon to the library. The enlarged library 
building had space for 125,000 volumes, and would therefore be ade- 
quate to the needs of the College for many years. The College's collec- 
tion of books at the time numbered about 43,000 volumes, 

The cost of these changes in the Hbrary was about $47,000. It was 
met by the original gift of $5,000 from David Sears with accumulated 
income, and by gifts from the following: 

James B. Jermain, '3 1 

Albany lawyer and financier $8,000 

John Appleton Burnham, '33 

Boston merchant and manufacturer 2,000 

W. O. Grover 1,000 

W. W. Scarborough of Cincinnati, whose 

three sons graduated from Amherst in 

the classes of 1878, 1881, and 1885 1,000 

W. W. Scarborough, for a friend i ,000 

Aaron Bagg, whose son was a member 

of the class of 1872 500 

J. W. Yates, whose son graduated in 1880 250 

The remainder of the cost was taken from the generous bequest of 
Henry T. Morgan of New York, who died in the early part of 1 883 
and whose executors made prompt payment of the bequest to the Col- 
lege. In grateful appreciation, the Board named the enlarged building 
Morgan Library. 

Henry T. Morgan was born in Lee, Massachusetts, and descended 
from Captain Miles Morgan, one of the founders of Springfield, and 
from the Reverend Edward Taylor of Westfield, the pastor and poet. 
He is thus related to Professors Charles Hill Morgan II and Vincent 
Morgan of the Amherst faculty, and to Francis Taylor Pearsons Plimp- 
ton of the Amherst Board. Henry Morgan began his business life at 
sixteen as a teller of the Fairfield County Bank at Norwalk, Connecti- 
cut. In 1837 he went to New York and for over forty years was a 
successful stockbroker, with an office in Wall Street and a home at 
28 Fifth Avenue. Later, he gave the City of Springfield a fine bronze 
statue of Captain Miles Morgan. On his death, he left an estate of a 
million and a half dollars. His bequest to Amherst amounted to some- 
thing over S8o,ooo. I have been unable to find how his interest in 
Amherst was aroused. 

After Seelye had secured the approval of the Board for the recon- 
struction of Walker and the addition to the library building, he pre- 
sented to the same special meeting of the Board the generous offer of 
Charles Millard Pratt for a new gymnasium. The Board voted that 
the same Building Committee, with the addition of Dr. Hitchcock and 
Mr. Pratt, select plans and recommend measures for the erection of a 
new gymnasium, and report at the Commencement meeting of the 
Board six weeks later. 


Charles Millard Pratt had graduated from Amherst three years be- 
fore in the class of 1879. His father (Charles Pratt) was a partner of 
John D. Rockefeller, Sr., in the development of the Standard Oil 
Company; young Charles M. Pratt had entered the oil business on 
graduation and was already secretary, treasurer, and a director of the 
Standard Oil Company. I have told the story of Charles Pratt and 
his son in some detail in my History of the Endowment of Amherst College 
and need not repeat it here. But it will not be out of place to recall 
that the Standard Oil Company was not then the great industrial 
concern it later became. It had been founded in 1870 in Cleveland 
with a capital of a million dollars, and in its first ten years had attained 
a leading place in the new industry. Charles M. Pratt had come to 
Amherst at the suggestion of one of his teachers, William C. Peck- 
ham, '67. But his generous impulse to provide a new gymnasium for 
his alma mater was stimulated by another teacher — Dr. Edward 
Hitchcock, '49. 

Edward Hitchcock was "the Doctor" in those days; later, he was 
canonized by the alumni as "Old Doc." Born in Amherst in 1828, 
the son of President Hitchcock, he had prepared for college at Willis- 
ton Seminary and Amherst Academy. After graduation from Amherst, 
he attended Harvard Medical School and took his M.D. degree. He 
then returned to Williston as a teacher. In i860 he went to London for 
private study under Sir Richard Owen, and at the end of a year came 
to Amherst as professor of hygiene and physical education, a post 
which he filled for fifty years. From 1898 to 1910 he was dean of the 
faculty. He was one of the founders and, for its first three years, president 
of the American Association for the Advancement of Physical Educa- 
tion, trustee of Mount Holyoke College, Williston Seminary, Clark 
Institution in Northampton, and the Northampton Insane Hospital, 
and member of the State Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity. He 
had ten children. In 1899 he was awarded the honorary degree of 
Doctor of Laws by his alma mater. 

Dr. Hitchcock had lived through the dark days of Amherst. The 
young college and its precarious affairs were the most frequent sub- 
jects of conversation in his home when he was growing up. He had 
lived, as a boy, at what is now 271 South Pleasant Street and then in the 
president's house. After his marriage, his home was on College Street. 
He had traveled with his father on many of his trips and watched him 
in his efforts to raise money for the College. From his appointment to 
the faculty in 1 86 1 , every student of the College had been a member 
of one or more of his classes in physical education. He was a frequent 
speaker in the college chapel. And as he and his associates considered that 

the College stood in loco parentis to the undergraduates, he came easily to 
assume a paternal interest and authority over individual students who 
for one reason or another attracted his special attention. Most of us in 
each college generation came to his attention, either because of some 
boyish prank or for financial reasons, or because we had overcut 
chapel or class, or because of illness in term time. 

As a pioneer in the field of physical education, he had to develop 
and modify his program, and he had to secure funds from some source 
to provide the necessary quarters and apparatus. Hitchcock never re- 
lied on a president to secure the funds he thought he needed, though 
of course he welcomed any assistance a president might give him. He 
was his own propagandist for financial assistance for his department, 
and he was tireless in his efforts. His father, when he was a professor, 
had constantly sought money to add to the scientific collections, and, 
as president, to house the collections. "Old Doc" needed no better 
example. On the whole, it is perhaps fair to say that in the field of 
raising money he was even more successful than his father. His father 
had had to find his gifts from friends of the College; his son found them 
from the parents of students and from the students themselves after 
they had in later years become financially successful. As I look back 
over the roll of the professors of the College for nearly a century and a 
half, it seems clear that four professors have succeeded in raising sub- 
stantial sums for the work of their departments or for the work of the 
College. In chronological order, they are Edward Hitchcock, Sr., 
William S. Tyler, Edward Hitchcock, Jr., and David Todd. 

"Old Doc" became warmly attached to Charles M. Pratt and the 
affection was reciprocated. They became lifelong friends. Some years 
later (1892) when "Old Doc's" health was frail, his daughter records 
in the family diary that her father and mother made an extensive trip 
to Brazil and that Mr. Pratt paid all the expenses, including pocket 
money for incidentals on the trip. 

In the college archives is a scrapbook containing the correspondence 
between Charles M. Pratt and "Old Doc" in connection with the gift 
of funds for the new gymnasium and the erection of the building. 
There are occasional letters from Pratt's father and occasional letters 
from Seelye. But it is clear beyond doubt that young Pratt was making 
the gift because of Hitchcock, and that every detail was carefully gone 
over by these two men — Pratt, a young man of twenty-seven, and 
Hitchcock, nearly thirty years his senior. 

Six weeks later, at the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1882, 
the committee to which the gymnasium project had been referred 
made its report, and the Board voted that the committee be "empow- 


ered to go forward with its erection, it being understood that the ex- 
pense . . . will be defrayed by Mr. Charles M. Pratt, of Brooklyn; — 
& that the edifice, when built, be known as the Pratt Gymnasium." 
At the same meeting, the Board authorized the Prudential Com- 
mittee "to take down, & use the materials of East College in the 
construction of other College buildings, or otherwise, at their discre- 

The story of the next year is recorded in a private report of Seelye 
to the Board submitted a year later. "A year ago," says Seelye, "the 
Trustees authorized the building committee which they had appointed 
for the purpose, to proceed with the erection of Pratt Gymnasium, on 
condition that the money for the purpose should be furnished by 
Mr. Charles M. Pratt of Brooklyn. Mr. Pratt had previously told me 
that he would give $25,000 to put up such a building if the College 
would give it the necessary equipment. Believing that the Trustees 
would accept this proposal, & desiring to have everything in readiness 
for a prompt beginning of the work, I requested Messrs. Peabody & 
Stearns [architects for reconstructing Walker Hall], & Messrs. Allen & 
Kenway [architects for the addition to Morgan Library], of Boston, 
to present to the Committee their plans for the new building, at an 
estimated cost not exceeding the sum named by Mr. Pratt. They did 
so & the Committee would have been well satisfied with either of the 
plans proposed by these architects. But after the matter had gone thus 
far with the expressed approval of Mr. Pratt, he desired to have the 
Committee consult Mr. E. L. Roberts, a New York Architect, with 
whom he was acquainted, & from whom he thought we should obtain 
a more satisfactory plan. Desiring to accord as far as possible with the 
wishes of Mr. Pratt, & hoping also that we should not be unduly de- 
layed thereby, this was done. 

"Mr. Roberts could not give the matter his immediate attention, & 
when he did undertake it, he was found to be very slow, so that six 
months, — ■ during which time we had hoped to have at least the walls 
of the new building completed — had passed before he was ready to 
submit to us any plan. This plan, when secured, was not satisfactory 
to any member of the Committee except Mr. Pratt, & still farther 
delays were necessary before it could be changed. The plan having 
been finally made acceptable to the Committee, it required a still 
farther time to get the specifications for the builders' estimates, which 
having been at length obtained were submitted to four companies of 
builders for their bids. The lowest of these was found to be $47,849, 
the highest being about $6,000 more. Mr. Pratt, having taken his time 
to consider these, intimated his willingness to give $35,000 & to pay 

the architect's fees if the College would proceed with the erection of 
the building according to Mr. Roberts' plan. 

"But this, under the vote of the Trustees, I did not deem that the 
Committee was authorized to do, & I therefore sought the advice 
by letter of the individual members of this Board. The result would 
have seemed to justify the Committee in going ahead, but before 
making any contract for the work I deemed it important to possess in 
writing from Mr. Pratt what he had only given orally, & it was not 
till three weeks ago today that this could be obtained. I cannot give 
any satisfactory reason for this delay, for Mr. Pratt is undoubtedly able 
to do all he has promised, & seems moreover willing & desirous to 
do it. I regard his offer, now that he has put it in definite terms, as 
a very generous one. 

"With the architect's fees his gift will amount to well nigh $40,000, 
and as this is the first building we have ever had erected by an Alumnus, 
& may, it is to be hoped, be not only the beginning but the incentive 
to others yet to follow, it seems wise to accept his terms, & go to work 
at once. So confident were the Committee that this would be the 
judgment of the Trustees that they have advised Mr. John Beston, 
whose bids for the building were the lowest, to have everything ready 
to start without delay, immediately after Commencement. I have 
Mr. Pratt's communication here and will lay it before the Board." 

The question of site had been troublesome, and the Board had asked 
Olmsted to make a report. His report had been approved by Mr. Pratt 
and accepted by the Board. Olmsted at this time was recognized as 
the leading landscape architect of the country. A year later (1884) 
Seelye reported to the Board that Pratt Gymnasium was rapidly ap- 
proaching completion. "The site," he added, "has occasioned much 
criticism, but I am persuaded that it was not mistaken, & that when 
all is completed it will be approved by everyone. It was necessary to 
make considerable grading about the building, & when East College 
was removed according to the authority given to the Prudential Com- 
mittee one year ago, it seemed wise to the Committee to engage 
Mr. Olmsted to furnish us a complete plan for the grading & roads 
& walks of the whole college grounds. This has been done, much to 
our acceptance, and work according to it has been begun, by the 
authority given to the Prudential Committee at the last meeting of the 
Trustees. To complete it will yet take some time & much expense, 
but in the present condition of the college I know of no expenditure 
likely to give us better returns. With the unsurpassed beauty of our 
surroundings, our college grounds should have a beauty worthy of 
their setting." 


Seelye had handled the difficult negotiations with the young Charles 
M. Pratt with understanding, tact, and wisdom. And occasionally 
Pratt's father had put in a word to smooth over the irritations which 
were unavoidable in the circumstances. It seems clear from the corre- 
spondence that Pratt's father wished his son to make his own decisions, 
but that he wished the project to go through. It also seems clear that 
the father wanted his son to enjoy the process of giving away money. 
The incident is a striking example of the difficulties that arise when too 
many architects are consulted, and of the fact that difficulties are mul- 
tiplied when the architect finally retained is responsible to and paid 
by the donor, and not by the College. 

Unfortunately, as Seelye reported a year later (1885) to the Board, 
"the difficulties attending the building of the new gymnasium did not 
end with its erection. As the building came into use at the opening of 
the present year, it was soon found that the heating apparatus was 
quite insufficient. This was not unexpected to the Building Committee, 
who had used their best endeavors, in vain, to induce Mr. Pratt and 
his architect to put in a boiler of different construction from what the 
latter designed. The inspector of boilers sent from a Hartford insurance 
company pronounced it unsafe, & refused to recommend it for in- 
surance. We soon found it not only unsafe but inefficient, & to save 
ourselves from the danger of having the building blown up, & the 
liability of having the pipes freeze & burst, we were obliged to re- 
move one of the boilers & put in another of larger capacity & dif- 
ferent construction, involving an expense of some $700. This Mr. Pratt 
has not yet intimated any disposition to pay." 

When the building was completed, a bronze tablet was installed, 
recording the fact that Pratt's gift was made out of affection for Dr. 
Hitchcock. Hitchcock now had a fine building, the largest on the 
campus. And Pratt Gymnasium served the College for half a century 
as gymnasium. Much of the material salvaged from East College was 
used in its construction, and so our present Pratt Museum of Geology 
contains all that remains of a short-lived dormitory. 

The total cost of Pratt Gymnasium was ^69,200, of which Pratt gave 
$35,275. Hitchcock did his share in finding money to pay for the over- 
run. He secured a gift of $1,000 from W. W. Scarborough of Cin- 
cinnati, whose youngest son was in college and whose two older sons 
had recently graduated. He secured another gift of $10,000 from 
Frederick Billings, whose son, Parmly, had transferred to Amherst after 
a freshman year at Williams and was now a member of the class of 
1884. And the Board used a legacy of $2,500 from the estate of William 
Reed, plus $9,771.26 from the Henry T. Morgan bequest, plus 

S 10,523-55 from the Fayerweather bequest. The Board also used $200 
from a gift of John H. Southworth of $5,000 given for any purpose the 
Board desired to use it. 

Frederick BiUings (i 823-1 890), born in Vermont, a graduate of the 
University of Vermont, lawyer, and railroad financier, lived in Wood- 
stock, Vermont, and in San Francisco. He was the first chairman of 
the Board of the University of California. His second son, Richard, 
graduated from Amherst in the class of 1897. Just before his death in 
1890, Frederick Billings anticipated a provision in his will and gave 
the College a fund of $50,000 to establish the Parmly Billings Professor- 
ship of Hygiene and Physical Education in memory of his eldest son, 
who had died in 1 888 at the age of twenty-five. Both Billings gifts and 
subsequent smaller gifts for the department by his widow and sur- 
viving son were made because of the confidence and affection which 
Parmly Billings had had for Hitchcock. 

William Reed (i 776-1 837) was a wealthy merchant of Marblehead 
who was interested in religious and educational institutions. He was 
elected to the Amherst Board in 1835, but died before he could take 
any significant part in the affairs of the College. He left the College 
a bequest of $10,000, which came in three installments, on the death 
of life tenants: $5,000 in 1858, $2,500 in 1878, and the final $2,500 in 
the same year. 

The Fayerweather estate we shall consider at some length a little 
later. John H. Southworth of Springfield had given chandeliers to the 
library building, and made other gifts from time to time. He seems to 
have been engaged in a number of business enterprises, including the 
Southworth Paper Company and the Wilcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine 

With the problems of Pratt Gymnasium finally disposed of, Seelye, 
in his report to the Board in 1886, renewed his recommendation for a 
new chemistry building, and added that he had "good reason to be- 
lieve that the college funds will receive some important additions ere 
long" which could be used for this purpose. His high hopes were, how- 
ever, dashed, and a year later (1887) he reported to the Board that 
"Mr. John Davenport who has promised to build us a chemical 
laboratory, & who will, it is still confidently hoped, at some time do 
this, finds himself obliged to postpone this until after the present year." 

John Davenport (i 835-1 895) had transferred to Amherst from Yale 
and graduated in the class of 1858. He then went to Japan with our 
resident minister, and later around the world. He was now in the real 
estate business in Bath, New York. In his will he left $50,000 to Am- 
herst for a memorial building, subject to a life estate which fell in some 


thirty years later. As president of the College, I had the privilege of 
recommending to the Board that we use the fund to erect the John 
Davenport Squash Building. 

Seelye knew, however, that the College must have a chemistry labo- 
ratory, and he continued his efforts for funds. At his instance, a fund 
of $20,000 was contributed by three men — D. Willis James, whose 
son was then an undergraduate in the class of 1889, G. Henry Whit- 
comb, '64, the Worcester manufacturer who had joined the Board in 
1884, and Henry D. Hyde, '61, the Boston lawyer who had joined the 
Board in 1877. 

In 1885 Seelye suggested to the Board the enlargement of the campus 
to the east; after considering the matter for a year the Board voted to 
purchase from William Austin Dickinson, the treasurer, the land east 
of the campus extending to the tracks of the Central Vermont Railroad 
for $8,500. It seems to me clear from the record that Seelye was more 
farsighted in this proposal than most of the Board. He was confident 
of the present strength of the College and of its future, and he saw the 
importance of purchasing the land adjoining the campus when it was 
on the market, as a protection for the future growth and development 
of the college plant. Seelye then secured a special gift, so that the land 
cost the College nothing. 

In 1 884 Seelye brought to the attention of the Board the condition 
of North and South Colleges, and he suggested that steam heat could 
be furnished the dormitories from the heating plant in Walker Hall. 
The Prudential Committee studied the question of cost. In 1888 the 
Board authorized the expenditure of $5,000 "to put one entry of South 
College in condition for use by the students." 

In 1888 the College was plagued by another serious fire. It was not 
on the campus, but in the town. The fire occurred on the night of 
March 1 2, the night of the famous blizzard, and destroyed a business 
building in the center of town in which the treasurer of the College 
maintained his office. Everything in his office was destroyed except 
what was in his safes. A large amount of historical material dealing 
with both the College and the town, which Austin Dickinson was 
arranging for the use of scholars, was a complete loss. The only benefit 
the College derived was that the treasurer's office was transferred to 
Walker Hall, where it has been ever since. 

Meanwhile, Dr. Hitchcock had not been idle. In 1883, when Pratt 
Gymnasium was in process of construction, Pratt's brother, Frederic B., 
entered college as a freshman. Hitchcock immediately took him under 
his paternal eye because of his friendship for his elder brother. Fred 
graduated in the class of 1887. In 1889 he decided to give the College 

an athletic field, and in 1890 he presented a formal letter to the Board 
making the generous offer. The Board accepted the gift and extended 
the thanks of the Board "for his wise & generous care for the College." 
It is to be noted that Charles M. Pratt's first offer of a gift for a gym- 
nasium was made when he was only three years out of college, and that 
Fred's offer of a gift of $20,000 was made exactly three years after 
his graduation. 

Frederic Bayley Pratt (i 865-1 945) joined the family firm of Charles 
Pratt & Co. after graduation. Later, on his father's death, he became 
president of Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, which had been founded by his 
father and supported to a large extent by the family, and he devoted 
his long life to its development. He was awarded the honorary degree 
of Master of Arts in 1904 and of Doctor of Laws in 1917 by his alma 
mater for his work in educational administration. 

Fred Pratt's letter to the Board is dated April 17, 1890, and is as 

"I have long felt the growing importance of athletic sports as a 
helpful influence for college life. With a view of supplying what I 
have thought to be a deficiency, I propose to contribute to your care 
the sum of $20,000 to be known as the 'F. B. Pratt Athletic Fund,' 
the principal of which to be held by you, & appropriated for the pur- 
poses under the following conditions: — 

"First: — For the purchase & preparation of a suitable piece of 
land to be used for athletic sports, & to be known as 'Amherst 
College Athletic Field.' For this purpose such part of the fund as 
may be thought wise may be used, but not Exceeding $15,000. 

"Second: — From the income of the balance of said fund, to 
use such sum as may be necessary for the protection & improve- 
ment of the said 'Amherst College Athletic Field.' 

"Third: ^ — -So much of the original fund as shall have been 
used, for the purpose Explained in clause i, shall be returned. 
Either from gate-money, from contributions, or from receipts 
from any & all sources, under such regulations as may be deemed 

"Fourth: — I hesitate to impose conditions, lest I may work 
hardship, but I hope the managers of this fund will be able, from 
these various sources, to restore the impairment of the original 
fund by a sum Equal to at least the interest at 5% of the original 
contribution — say, $1,000 a year. 

"Fifth: — The use of the principal & income of the fund above 
provided, & the carrying out of the spirit of the condition of the 


gift, are committed with confidence to the Athletic Board as now 
constituted, & their successors. 

"Sixth: — I have bought the grounds, & contracted for a cer- 
tain amount of the improvements, & the money that I have spent, 
or may spend for such land or improvements will be accounted 
for as a part of the contribution when done; the balance will be 
turned over as cash to the Trustees of this College, who will from 
time to time pay over such income to this Athletic Board. 

Respectfully yours, 

F. B. Pratt" 

The development of Pratt Field and the building of a covered grand- 
stand took another year. The field was dedicated on May 22, 1891. 
Dr. Hitchcock made the introductory remarks, prayer was offered by 
Dr. Michael Burnham of Springfield, a trustee, Mr. Pratt made the 
address of presentation, and President Gates accepted the gift in be- 
half of the College. The dedication was followed by a baseball game 
in which Amherst defeated Dartmouth by the one-sided score of ten 
to one and in which Alfred E. Stearns, '94, and Cornelius J. Sullivan, 
'92, played the stellar roles. 

The total cost of Pratt Field was $25,496.57, and on September 25, 
1 89 1, when all the bills were in, Pratt sent the College an additional 
gift of $5,000. Pratt's suggestion that his original $20,000 fund should 
be gradually restored from gate receipts proved impracticable. But on 
July I, 1933, the College set up the F. B. Pratt Fund at $20,000 and 
the income is allocated each year to the support of athletics. 

The Commencement meeting of the Board in 1890 at which the 
offer of an athletic field was made to the Board by Frederic Pratt was 
the last meeting presided over by President Seelye. His health had 
been steadily deteriorating and it had become impossible for him to 
carry on the duties of his office. He presented his resignation and asked 
that it take effect immediately. Deeply as the Board regretted his 
leaving, there seemed to be no alternative. Seelye had been a great 
president and had made a profound impression on the College. 

Here we are concerned with Seelye as a builder. He had seen Walker 
Hall, then our most important building, gutted by fire and rebuilt; 
a large and successful addition made to the library which would pro- 
long its usefulness for many years; the erection of Pratt Gymnasium, 
the largest building on the campus; the extension of the campus to the 
east to the tracks of the Central Vermont Railroad; a substantial fund 
raised for a new chemistry laboratory; and the gift of a superb athletic 
field. It was a record of great accomplishment, making him one of 


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the outstanding builders of the college plant, either before or since. 
And he had accomplished this in a term of only fourteen years, during 
the latter part of which he had been in almost continuous poor health. 
As the trustees looked back over the history of the College for three- 
quarters of a century, they might have reflected that the two presidents 
who had done the most for the College — Hitchcock and Seelye — 
had both been ill men for much of their term of office and had both 
had relatively short terms. 

At a special meeting of the Board on July 30, 1890, at the Massasoit 
House in Springfield, the Board elected Merrill E. Gates, then president 
of Rutgers College, as the sixth president of Amherst College. Gates 
( 1 848-1 922) had graduated from the University of Rochester, served 
for twelve years as principal of Albany Academy and for eight years 
as president of Rutgers. He already had honorary degrees from Prince- 
ton, Columbia, and Rochester. He was forty-two years old. Only one 
vote was cast in opposition to his election, and that by the youngest 
trustee, who was attending his first meeting of the Board. It was a 
courageous vote, and it was cast by George Arthur Plimpton of the 
class of 1876. Perhaps his colleagues on the Board did not realize that 
Plimpton had unusually good sources of information. As a partner in 
Ginn & Co., publishers of textbooks, Plimpton was in touch through 
his business associates with most, if not all, of the colleges of the 

One of the names suggested to the trustee committee to select a 
new president was that of a young professor named Woodrow Wilson, 
who had recently published a volume entitled Congressional Government, 
and who in 1890 was leaving Wesleyan to join the faculty of Princeton. 
But the candidate most seriously considered besides Dr. Gates was an 
Amherst graduate named George Harris, of the class of 1866, who at 
the time was professor of theology at Andover Theological Seminary. 
He was forty-six years old, and one of his Andover colleagues and 
friends was about to go to Dartmouth as president. But Reverend 
Richard Salter Storrs, '39, who was one of the most powerful members 
of the Amherst Board, on which he served from 1863 till 1898, per- 
suaded his colleagues to select Gates in place of Harris, the Amherst 
alumnus, because he regarded Harris' theology as tinged with mod- 

The election of Plimpton to the Board by his fellow alumni in 1 890 
proved to be one of the important events in the long history of the 
Board. The following year Daniel Willis James was elected a life trustee 
to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Thomas H. McGraw; 
his election proved to be of profound significance to the College. In 


i8g7 Charles M. Pratt joined the Board. Plimpton, James, and Pratt 
were powerful men; James and Pratt were men of great wealth. For 
seventy years the leadership in the Board had rested in New England, 
and, in fact, in Massachusetts. The few merribers from New York had 
been primarily ministers. Now the weight of influence in the Board was 
to shift gradually to New York, to remain there up to the present time. 

D. Willis James (i 832-1 904) was born in Liverpool, England, where 
his father was resident partner of Phelps Dodge & Company. He at- 
tended school in England and was a student for a year at the University 
of Edinburgh. At seventeen he came to New York to enter the employ 
of Phelps Dodge & Company and in five years was himself a partner. 
He was a pioneer in the development of railways in the Southwest and 
in Mexico, he amassed a large fortune, and he became one of the lead- 
ing philanthropists of the country. He was deeply religious and regarded 
his wealth as a trust; his gifts were often made anonymously. His only 
son, Arthur Curtiss James, graduated from Amherst in the class of 
1889, and in 1904 succeeded his father on the Amherst Board. 

James' gifts to Amherst began when his son was an undergraduate 
and before his own election to the Board. In 1887 and 1889 he gave 
a fund of $100,000 for professors' salaries, and in 1891, five months 
before his election to the Board, he gave another Si 00,000 to establish 
the Seelye Fund. 

The election of a new president immediately posed the question of 
the president's house, which had been occupied by Mrs. Stearns during 
the administration of Seelye. The early presidents had occupied the 
president's house rent free. On the election of Gates, the trustees made 
a decision which they were later to regret. They increased the presi- 
dent's salary and charged him rent of S800 per annum. In addition, 
the Board thoroughly reconditioned the house at a cost of $11,243. 
The ell to the west, which had been of frame construction, was rebuilt 
in brick; the large entrance hall with the Bulfinch staircase was in- 
stalled. And the president moved in. Later, the fact that the College 
received rent for the house was used as a reason for its taxation by the 
town authorities. 

In 1892 the Boltwood homestead came on the market. The dignified 
mansion with the large pillars stood approximately on the present site 
of Converse Memorial Library, and the land extended from the town 
common eastward to the tracks of the Central Vermont Railroad. It 
was essential that the property should not fall into other hands. This 
James saw at once and he provided the funds for its purchase by the 
College. The cost was $22,077.60. The College had bought some two 
and a half acres of the Boltwood land at the time of the erection of 

Walker Hall at a price of about $9,956. Now they acquired the house 
and entire remaining property for little more than twice this amount, 
"Old Doc," who was not a vindictive man, writing a few years later, 
remarks, "And don't we remember how Lucius Boltwood 'stuck' the 
College for that strip which we wanted for Walker Hall. However, we 
got even with the estate, when we bought the whole of the rest of the 
property reasonably, as there was no one to bid against us." After all, 
both Lucius Boltwood and "Old Doc" were Yankees. Lucius Boltwood 
had served the College for a third of a century, and served it well. 
But a trade was a trade. Now he was gone, and "Old Doc" was happy 
to see the scales tip the other way in the trade between the Yankee 
college and the estate. 

The Board voted that James, in consultation with the president, 
should name the building acquired, and it was named Hitchcock Hall. 
For a quarter of a century after its purchase it stood at the entrance 
to the campus, an imposing landmark to students and i^eturning alumni. 

Amherst, like most of the older New England colleges, had allowed 
its students to get their meals where they could. Its funds for buildings 
had gone into classrooms, laboratories, library, and gymnasium. Its 
dormitories had never been adequate to house all its students since the 
earliest days. Boarding houses had sprung up in the village, at which 
the students could secure meals at varying rates. John W. Burgess, '67, 
in his Reminiscences of an American Scholar, gives an interesting description 
of the boarding houses of his undergraduate days. And "Old Doc" 
in his memoirs lists the cost of meals as follows: 

In 1842 $1.00 to $2.00 per week 

" 1852 

•75 " 


" 1862 

1-75 " 


" 1872 

3-5° " 


" 1882 

3.00 " 


" 1892 

3.00 " 


" 1902 

3.00 " 


George A. Plimpton, '76, found it necessary to earn money to eke 
out his allowance from home; during part of his course he operated a 
boarding house on South Pleasant Street and made his purchases whole- 
sale in Boston. He told me once that he found that the cheapest food 
he could buy which would satisfy his customers, who were of course 
fellow-students, was salt cod, which he bought by the barrel in the 
Boston market and had shipped to Amherst. 

The arrangement under which the College accepted no responsi- 
bility for providing or supervising the food of its students was of course 
most convenient for the college authorities. But in 1 878 Harvard built 


its Memorial Hall, originally designed to provide dining rooms for 
the College, a purpose which it served for nearly fifty years. And in 
accepting the gift of the building, the funds for which had been raised 
by the alumni, the Harvard Corporation voted it "the most valuable 
gift which the University has ever received, in respect alike of cost, 
daily usefulness, and moral significance" (italics supplied). Memorial 
Hall, with Sanders Theatre, had cost $370,000. 

The same reasons which prompted Harvard to provide dining fa- 
cilities for its students at this period made it desirable for other colleges 
to consider the matter. The purchase of Hitchcock Hall gave Amherst 
the opportunity to experiment. Hitchcock Hall was remodeled and 
opened as a college dining room for one hundred students, and in a 
few years the Boyden house, located on the site of Kirby Memorial 
Theater, which had been acquired by the College in 1873 for some- 
thing like $4,500, was opened as a second college dining room to ac- 
commodate eighty to one hundred students. Sometimes the dining 
facilities were operated by the College, although no member of the 
college staff had any experience in this field. Sometimes they were 
leased to concessionaires. For example, in 1896 the Board voted to 
lease the Boyden house for one year to Levi S. Wilber, who had operated 
a dining room in the Amherst House Annex, "to be kept as a student 
boarding house; the price for board not to exceed $3.25 per week." 
The rental was S200 a year, "the college to pay Si 5.00 toward the 
expenseofputtingina water-closet in the house. . . . Mr. Wilber paying 
the balance of the cost." At the same meeting the Board left to the 
president, treasurer, and Dr. Hitchcock the question of leasing Hitch- 
cock Hall. In the Hitchcock Memorial Room is preserved the dinner 
menu of Hitchcock Hall for January 8, 1 894. It was a Monday, a few 
days after the opening of college following the Christmas holidays. 
As one reads it today, one is surprised by the variety of dishes offered. 
The menu reads as follows: 

Noodle Soup 

Boiled Cod Oyster Sauce 

New England Boiled Dinner 

Roast Beef Dish Gravy 

Spare Ribs of Pork with Jelly 

Chicken Pie 

Boiled and Mashed Potatoes 

Green Peas Stewed Tomatoes 

Boiled Rice 

Queen of Puddings 

Apple Pie Custard Pie 

Tea Coffee 


Undergraduates are proverbially hard to please in a college dining 
room. In Hitchcock Hall the College provided an elaborate menu 
served in uninviting surroundings, and whether the fault lay in the 
buying or the cooking, the results were not appetizing. 

There is also in the files of the Hitchcock Memorial Room a printed 
list of extras which could be ordered at additional cost. It contains 
some seventy items ranging from buckwheat cakes at 5^ to raw oysters 
at 15^ a dozen, small tenderloin steak at 30^, lamb chops at 20^, 
and apple pie at 5^. Meals were sent out, but at an extra charge. 

When the College operated the dining rooms, it usually lost money; 
when it leased to a concessionaire, it secured a small revenue. But in 
either case, the results were unsatisfactory. During my own college 
course I paid between $3.00 and S4.50 for board, depending on my 
finances at the time. For much of my course I ate at Hitchcock Hall. 
Student behavior in the dining room at Hitchcock was often de- 
plorable, and the board was never good. Not until spring term of my 
senior year did I afford the excellent boarding house on Spring Street 
kept by Colonel Houghton, where the weekly charge was, as I recall, 
$5.50. At Harvard Law School I ate regularly at Memorial Hall and 
found food, management, and student behavior excellent, and the price 
reasonable. Amherst's early experiments in feeding those students who 
wished to attend a college dining hall were, in my judgment, entirely 
unsatisfactory. What was needed was a satisfactory plant and profes- 
sional management; Amherst never had either until the opening of 
Valentine Hall in 1941. 

The cost of remodeling Hitchcock Hall as a college boarding house 
had been substantial, as had the cost of reconditioning the president's 
house for the new president. In 1894, D. Willis James offered to pay 
the debt on Hitchcock Hall provided the debt on the president's house 
was paid by others. The Board appointed Plimpton chairman of a 
committee of three, with power to name his colleagues, to raise the 
money to meet the offer of James. Plimpton promptly raised the 
S 1 1 ,000 necessary. A list of the donors follows : 

D. Willis James, New York $4,000 

Henry D. Hyde, Boston 2,500 

George A. Plimpton, New York 1,000 

R. H. Stearns, Boston 600 

Samuel Thomas, New York 500 

Mason W. Tyler, New York 500 

William R. Mead, New York 500 

Dwight S. Herrick, New York 500 

John E. Sanford, Boston 500 


"A Trustee," Boston 500 

John L. Brayton, Fall River 500 

G. Henry Whitcomb, Worcester 500 

Peter Wyckoff, New York 300 

Timothy F. Allen, New York 300 

Frank J. Goodnow, New York 250 

Herbert L. Bridgman, Brooklyn 250 

Edward A. Strong, Boston 250 

J. W. Burgess, New York 250 

F. W. Whitridge, New York 250 

Henry W. Smith, Philadelphia 200 

Winthrop Smith, Philadelphia 150 

Frank D. Lewis, Philadelphia 150 

S. B. Capen, Boston 150 

"A Friend," New York 100 

A. A. Spear, New York 100 

E. W. Tyler, New York 100 

Jefferson Clark, New York 100 

John Deady, New York 100 

Elliot Sanford, New York 100 

W. D. Prentiss, New York 100 

E. B. Gillett, Westfield 100 

Parmelee Prentice, Chicago 50 

Curtis R. Hatheway, New York 50 


The most pressing need of the College for some time had been a 
chemistry building. Seelye had brought the matter to the attention of 
the Board year after year, and had succeeded in raising a fund of some 
$20,000 toward the project. But it was not until the death of a leather 
merchant in New York in 1890 that the Board felt justified in proceeding 
to meet this need. No one in Amherst had ever heard of Daniel 
Fayerweather except Dr. Roswell Dwight Hitchcock, '36, president 
of Union Theological Seminary and trustee of the College since 1 869. 
Few people in New York, in fact, knew of Fayerweather except his 
customers and his competitors. His will contained bequests to a score 
of colleges, ranging in amount from $50,000 to $300,000. The bequests 
were without restriction. Amherst ultimately received as its share of 
the residue a total amount of $228,145. 

Daniel B. Fayerweather was the senior partner in the firm of Fayer- 
weather & Ladew, the largest leather merchants in the country and 
perhaps in the world. Born a poor boy in New England, he worked as 
a shoemaker and later as a peddler, until he had saved enough money 
to attend a boys' boarding school in Connecticut. At the age of thirty- 

two he obtained a clerkship in a New York firm of leather dealers, 
and within a year was admitted to the firm. In 1886, when he had 
become a wealthy man, he began to consider what disposition he 
should make of his fortune, and consulted Dr. Roswell D. Hitchcock. 
Guided by Dr. Hitchcock, Fayerweather made his will. A few years 
later he died. Legal problems developed in the settlement of the estate 
and extended over many years. The bequest of the residue to the col- 
leges was, however, finally sustained in the courts. 

At a special meeting of the Amherst Board in May 1891, a month 
before the inauguration of President Gates, the Board acted on a num- 
ber of significant recommendations of the president which were to 
have important consequences for the College. The president and treas- 
urer were empowered to sign an agreement for the settlement of the 
claims of Fayerweather's widow. The Board voted to proceed with the 
erection of laboratories for physics and chemistry at a cost not to exceed 
$100,000, and appointed a Building Committee of three to consider 
plans. This committee included the president, G. Henry Whitcomb of 
Worcester, the dominant trustee on the Finance Committee, and Profes- 
sor Herbert B. Adams, who had been elected an alumni trustee in 1889. 

Finally, the Board, on the recommendation of the new president, 
elected Arthur L. Kimball of Johns Hopkins University professor of 
physics at a salary of $3,500, and George D. Olds of the University 
of Rochester professor of mathematics at a salary of $2,500. They also 
granted a request of Professor Tyler for enlargement of his biological 
laboratory at an expense of $3,500. 

The Committee retained Olmsted to make plans for the incorpora- 
tion of the Boltwood property recently acquired by the College into 
the campus and to recommend a location for the new laboratories. 
Trustee Hyde and Treasurer Dickinson were added to the Building 
Committee. And another committee, composed of the president and 
Trustees James, Hyde, and the treasurer, was appointed to pass on 
the Olmsted plans. The only name added here is, of course, James, 
who had given the Boltwood property to the College. 

We are familiar with all of the members of the Building Committee 
except Professor Adams. A graduate of the College in the class of 1872, 
and a Ph.D. of Heidelberg, he spent most of his life as a member of 
the faculty of Johns Hopkins University in the field of American history. 
Adams was a trustee of Amherst from 1 889 till 1 899, a founder of the 
American Historical Association, and a scholar of distinction. 

The Committee selected the firm of McKim, Mead & White of New 
York as architects, and thus there began an association between the 
College and this firm which has continued until the present time. The 


firm had been founded in 1879 by Charles McKim, William R. Mead, 
and Stanford White. It was now completing the Boston Public Library, 
which had brought it country- wide reputation. The firm was later to 
acquire the greatest prestige of any architects in our history and to exert 
an influence on American architecture long after the death of its founders. 
The Chicago World's Fair of 1893 and the development of Washing- 
ton on the revival of L'Enfant's plan were both carried out under the 
leadership of Charles Follen McKim. The original Madison Square 
Garden, the New York Post Office, the Pennsylvania Station in New 
York City, the University, Century, Metropolitan, and Harvard Clubs 
in New York, the Columbia University Library, the Morgan Library, 
the Hall of Fame of New York University were all designed by the firm. 

The three young men who founded the firm "were not only su- 
premely sensitive but superbly trained." McKim graduated from Har- 
vard and after study at the ficole des Beaux Arts entered the office of 
H. H. Richardson at the time when Richardson was designing Trinity 
Church in Boston. Stanford White was the versatile son of a gifted 
father and was also for a time on Richardson's staff'. William Ruther- 
ford Mead (i 846-1 928), the central figure in the partnership, was 
born in Brattleboro, Vermont. He graduated from Amherst in the 
class of 1867, studied architecture in Boston and Europe, and spent a 
long life in the practice of his profession in New York City. Mead once 
said that it took all his time to "keep his partners from making damn 
fools of themselves." White's son, now a partner in the firm, says that 
Mead's forte was "that instinctive sense of scale and proportion which 
makes the development of the elevations follow naturally and logically 
from the plan." 

Mead was a brother of Larkin G. Mead, the sculptor, and a brother- 
in-law of William Dean Ho wells. He later became a member of the 
American Institute of Arts and Letters, president of the American 
Academy in Rome (in succession to McKim), National Academician, 
and received the Gold Medal of Honor of the National Institute of 
Arts and Letters, the first American architect to be so honored. He 
organized and for many years headed the Art Commission of the Col- 
lege which made recommendations to the Board for the placing of 
buildings, the layout of roads and paths, and the planting of the college 
grounds. On his death and the subsequent death of his widow, the 
College received the bulk of his large estate. 

On September 17, 1892 the College signed a contract for the 
Fayerweather laboratory with the firm of Norcross Brothers of Worces- 
ter at a figure of about $70,000 without the steam heating. The contract 
is now in the college archives in the Hitchcock Memorial Room, the 

earliest building contract of the College now extant as far as I have 
been able to discover. The total cost of the building was about Si 00,000. 

Unexpected delays occurred in construction, and the new labora- 
tories were not ready for occupancy until early in the year 1894. 

Once more the Board had made an unfortunate decision in the 
timing of a major building project. The Baring failure in London in 
1890 had been a conspicuous warning that fundamental conditions 
were unsound. But the land boom continued in the United States, 
prices remained high, railroad building was active, and businessmen 
generally continued confident. The crash came in 1893 with the failure 
of the Philadelphia & Reading and the Erie railroads. Specie pay- 
ments were practically suspended by the banks, six hundred banks 
failed, and commercial failures were three times what they had been 
in 1873. Had the Board postponed action for eighteen months, it could 
have constructed the building at a very large saving. 

In 1 898 the Board voted to name the new building the Fayerweather 
Physics Laboratory, but the bronze tablet at the entrance was not 
installed until 1930, nearly forty years later. By that time the name 
"Fayerweather" had been dropped from common usage and ought, I 
thought, to be restored to currency, in memory of one of the most 
colorful and most liberal benefactors of the College. 

Meanwhile, three more Pratt brothers had entered Amherst. George 
D. graduated in the class of 1893, Herbert L. in the class of 1895, and 
John T. in the class of 1896. At the May 1897 meeting of the Board a 
letter was presented under date of May 26, signed by the three brothers 
and offering the College the gift of an infirmary to cost about $25,000 
and an endowment fund of $20,000 for its support and maintenance. 
The letter follows: 

"Since leaving college, we have been considering more or less 
earnestly how we could be of the greatest aid to our Alma Mater 
and what we could do to bring about the greatest amount of good 
to the present and future generations of students in Amherst. 

"Among the suggestions that have occurred to us, the one which 
has impressed itself as of the most value is that associated with the 
idea of a building where overworked and sick students, particu- 
larly those who might be suffering from contagious diseases, might 
be housed and receive the most intelligent and helpful attention. 

"The necessity for some such building or retreat has been felt 
in many of the Colleges and, in some few instances, has the neces- 
sity been adequately met. Our interest in this matter led us to visit, 
in company with our architect, Mr. VV. B. Tubby, a number of 


private hospitals in various places and to consult with some of the 
most prominent physicians of New York and other cities. Of course 
our good friend Dr. Hitchcock has been most constant in his ad- 
vice and suggestions in the study of the problem. 

"The site selected for the building is located, as you know, in 
the northern part of the town, and sits on a high knoll embracing 
about three acres. The estimates of the cost of erecting the build- 
ing, together with that for furnishing and equipping the same, will 
amount to between twenty and twenty-five thousand dollars. The 
contractors have promised the completion of the building by the 
first of July, and the furnishing and equipment will be added 
during the coming summer, so that, by the opening of the fall 
college term, the building will be ready for occupancy. 

"We desire to turn over to you the Title and ownership of this 
property with an endowment fund of twenty thousand dollars, 
invested in twenty of the thousand dollar gold bonds of the Ohio 
River Railroad, — which property and endowment shall be 
vested in your hands, with the general understanding that the 
corporation shall accept this property in trust to be perpetually 
used for the purposes for which it was designed. 

"The direct oversight and management of the building shall 
be in the hands of a Board of Control to be named later by us, 
but which shall consist of seven members, one of whom shall be 
one of the donors; two, members of the Board of Trustees of the 
College; two members of the Faculty (one of the two being a 
physician) ; the remaining two members of the Board being ladies 
residing in the Town of Amherst. 

"The term of office of the members of the Board of Control 
(save the donor) shall be as follows: 

Two for three years 
Two for four years 
Two for five years 
and thereafter for a period of five years each. The Board shall 
elect its own successor. As soon as it is practically possible, a meet- 
ing of this Board will be held. At this meeting it is expected that 
the Board of Control will submit, for the acceptance and approval 
of the donors, a detailed plan for the management of the building. 

"Trusting that this plan of ours will prove the realization of 
all of our hopes and expectations, we are 

George D. Pratt 
Herbert L. Pratt 
John T. Pratt 

"After the return of Mr. G. D. Pratt and Mr. H. L. Pratt from 
the West, the matters of the transfer of the title to the property 
and of the endowment to the Trustees, together with the arrange- 
ment of such details as could not be attended to at this time will 
be cared for." 

The Amherst Board referred the letter to a committee composed of 
Trustees Sanford, Whitcomb, and Brayton, and on their report the 
Board gratefully accepted the generous offer of the three Pratt brothers, 
Pratt Health Cottage served the College well for a third of a century 

The Health Cottage was built during the depression which followed 
the Panic of 1893 and was acquired, therefore, at a low level of cost. 
We may note in passing that Harvard built its Stillman Infirmary 
four years later, in 1901, at an original cost of $175,000, the gift of 
James Stillman of New York City. 

In a period of fifteen years the College had received from five Pratt 
brothers a gymnasium, an athletic field, a health cottage, and an en- 
dowment for the field and for the health cottage. All were concerned 
with the health and physical well-being of the students. Each was 
made after consultation with Dr. Hitchcock and at his suggestion. And 
the time element is significant. Charles proposed his gift three years 
after his graduation; Fred proposed his gift three years after his gradu- 
ation; and George, Herbert, and John initiated their gift four years 
after George's graduation and three years after Herbert's. This cannot 
be coincidence. For five young men to make gifts to their alma mater 
is most unusual; and for the gifts to be made in each case three years 
after graduation suggests a pattern. It is interesting to speculate as to 
whether the pattern was set by their father or their mother; whether, 
in fact, each son was told that it was his responsibility to begin making 
gifts to education and charitable causes. 

Each son followed a different career in later life. Charles became an 
officer in Standard Oil and later a director of numerous corporations, 
and managed for many years the family fortunes. George devoted 
much of his time and thought to the problems of conservation of our 
natural resources. Herbert went into the Standard Oil organization 
and finally became president and later chairman of Standard Oil of 
New York. John became a New York lawyer. Each had a high sense 
of social responsibility, each continued to give generously to his alma 
mater and to other institutions. Charles, George, and Herbert served 
successively on the Amherst Board, beginning in 1897 when Charles 
was elected to the Board. George was elected in 1921 to succeed Charles, 
and served until 1935. Herbert was elected to the Board in 1936, and 


served until his death in 1945. John died in 1927 at the age of fifty- 

There are other interesting points deserving of comment. After the 
misunderstanding which developed in the case of Charles' gift, subse- 
quent offers were made in letters obviously drafted by lawyers. In 
each case the Pratt brother selected his own architect instead of relying 
on the college architect, and each selected a different architect. In 
the gifts of Fred and of George, Herbert and John, while legal title 
was vested in the Board of Trustees, the management was placed in a 
separate Board outside of the general administrative supervision of 
the president and the trustees. This arrangement was, I believe, clearly 
unsound, and, in fact, was later modified with the consent of the donors. 

Meanwhile, North and South Colleges were seen to need extensive 
reconstruction. The Board first authorized the necessary work in South 
College, and in May 1 893 the treasurer and Trustee Whitcomb were au- 
thorized to do a similar piece of work in North, including the problem of 
heating North and Johnson Chapel. These extensive repairs, including 
the introduction of steam heat for the dormitories, cost in the neigh- 
borhood of $45,000. To effect them the treasurer was authorized to 
borrow the money, to be repaid when possible from room rentals. 

Electricity was also introduced in some college buildings, particu- 
larly in the stacks of the library, and in 1901 the Board appropriated 
$200 for lighting the college grounds by electricity. 

In the summer of 1895 the College suffered a severe blow in the 
death of William Austin Dickinson, who had succeeded his father as 
treasurer in 1873 and had served the College for twenty-two years. 
Austin Dickinson had a deep love for the College. "His intense love 
of nature, his fine aesthetic perception" had been constantly at the 
service of his alma mater. I suppose that no treasurer in the first cen- 
tury of the College's history devoted as much time and thought and 
genuine ability to the college plant and the college grounds as Austin 
Dickinson. He was the agent of the succeeding building committees 
even before he was elected treasurer, he planted the trees in the college 
grove and on the town common, and he used the slender resources at 
his disposal in the College's annual budget for the maintenance of 
plant and grounds. It was at least a third of a century before the College 
again had a treasurer who had any special competence in this field. 
The endowment of the College was handled well by subsequent treas- 
urers, supported by the Finance Committee. But the buildings and 
grounds suffered year after year because there was no Austin Dickinson 
on the staff to see that they received the constant care and development 
they needed. 

In 1 901 the College received a legacy of $10,000 under the will of 
Edward N. Gibbs of Norwich, Connecticut, in memory of Austin 
Dickinson. The Board voted that a committee just appointed on the 
landscape gardening of the grounds of the College make recommenda- 
tions as to the use of the income of the fund. This committee was 
composed of the president, the treasurer, and Trustee Look. It was 
an appropriate tribute to a treasurer who had made the college grounds 
his personal interest. George Harris was now president, Joseph W. 
Fairbanks was treasurer. Frank Newhall Look was an alumni trustee, 
elected to the Board in 1899, who served five years. 

We know little of Edward N. Gibbs (i 841 -1900), the generous donor, 
beyond the fact that he was a man of some wealth, was for many years 
treasurer of the New York Life Insurance Company, and was a friend 
and admirer of Austin Dickinson. The bequest today still stands at 
$10,000 in the endowment funds of the College. 

Look (1855-191 1) had graduated in the class of 1877 and for many 
years was treasurer and general manager of the Florence Manufactur- 
ing Company in Northampton. He was the donor of Look Memorial 
Park in Northampton. 

Meanwhile, President Gates' difficulties with undergraduates, fac- 
ulty, trustees, and alumni had reached a crisis. In June 1897 he sent 
out a printed letter addressed to the alumni, marked "Not for general 
publication," in which he recounted the progress made by the College 
under his leadership. "We build on the old foundations," he said, "we 
do not forget the master-builders whose devotion has rendered our 
past secure, and makes our present work strong as it broadens." It 
was of no avail. A few months later he sailed for England with his 
family, and before the year was out, his resignation was in the hands 
of the Board. The resignation was accepted at the Commencement 
meeting of the Board in 1 898, and the administration of the College 
was placed in the hands of a committee composed of Piofessors Hitch- 
cock, Olds, and Tyler — known affectionately as "the triumvirate" — 
until the Board could select a new president. They were given additional 
compensation for their new administrative duties: $600 to Hitchcock, 
and $350 each to Olds and Tyler. 

The retiring president rented the president's house to Professor 
Henry Preserved Smith, '69, who had recently joined the faculty as 
professor of Biblical history and interpretation, for $400, and Pro- 
fessor Smith advised the Board that the house would be available at 
Commencement for the reception given by the Board to the seniors 
and the alumni. 

President Gates' influence on the buildings and grounds of the Col- 


lege had not been significant. Pratt Field and Pratt Health Cottage 
had been inspired by "Old Doc." The Fayerweather Laboratory re- 
sulted from the planning of Seelye and the $20,000 fund he had secured 
for the purpose, and from the fact that Daniel Fayerweather happened 
to die early in the Gates administration. James' gift of Hitchcock Hall, 
like his gifts to endowment, were also due to Seelye. And the detailed 
care and development of the grounds and plant were due to Treasurer 
Austin Dickinson. Gates had, however, made a signal contribution to 
the College in certain appointments to the faculty, notably Professors 
Olds and Kimball, The appointment of Olds in 1891, like the ap- 
pointment of "Old Doc" in 1861 by President Stearns, was to have 
profound implications in the future of Amherst. 


Chapter VI 

George Harris was elected the seventh president of the College at 
the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1899, with a salary of 
$5,000 plus the use of the president's house. He was fifty-five years 
old. Born in East Machias, Maine, he prepared for college at Washing- 
ton Academy, East Machias, and graduated from Amherst in the class 
of 1866. When he finished his college course he attended Bangor 
Theological Seminary and Andover, and was ordained. After pastor- 
ates in Auburn, Maine, and Providence, Rhode Island, and after a 
year's travel in Europe, he was appointed Abbott Professor of Theology 
at Andover. He was wise, witty, and urbane. Mrs. Harris enjoyed 
entertaining and the president's house became the active social center 
of the College. Harris' election ushered in an era of good feeling, and 
students, faculty, trustees, and alumni gave the new president a hearty 
welcome. An alumnus of the College was again its president. Harris 
had made it a condition of his acceptance of the office that he would 
not be expected to raise money for the College, and the Board had 
accepted the condition. 

A month before his election, the Board had held a special meeting 
and elected John E. Sanford president of the Board. This marked a 
radical change in policy. Since the granting of the charter in 1825, 
each president of the College in succession had been president of the 
Board and had presided at Board meetings. But the Board's recent 
unhappy experience with President Gates caused a change in policy. 
Now a member of the Board, not the president of the College, was to 
be its presiding officer. Sanford was sixty-six years old, had graduated 
from Amherst in the class of 1851, and had been a member of the 
Board since 1874. He was, in fact, the senior member of the Board in 
length of service. He had studied law after college, for a part of the 
time in the office of Edward Dickinson, the treasurer of the College, 
and had practiced his profession in Taunton, Massachusetts. He had 
served in the state legislature, been Speaker of the House, Insurance 
Commissioner of the Commonwealth, chairman of the Board of Harbor 


and Land Commissioners, chairman of the Board of Railroad Com- 
missioners, fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of London, and presi- 
dent of the Taunton Savings Bank. He served as president of the Am- 
herst Board until his death in 1907, a period of eight yeais. He was 
succeeded by George A. Plimpton, who was to serve for twenty-nine 
years until his death in 1936. 

Academic practice differs widely on the question as to whether the 
president of the College is also presiding officer of the Board. Years 
later I asked the Rockefeller Foundation to inform me as to current 
practice in our leading colleges and universities. Their reply indicated 
clearly the lack of consensus of opinion on the subject. Among the 
older colleges both practices are common: each college has seemed to 
prefer its own answer to the problem. My own experience as president 
of Amherst led me to the limited conclusion that in the administration 
of the office at Amherst I preferred to have the office of president of 
the Board (now changed to chairman of the Board) held by a member 
of the Board other than the president of the College. And Amherst's 
experience undoubtedly indicates that the current practice at the Col- 
lege is a safeguard to the Board and to the College. A good chairman 
is no embarrassment to a good president. A great chairman may make 
an incalculable addition to the well being and development of the 
institution. John Sanford was a good chairman; George Plimpton was 
a great chairman. 

George Arthur Plimpton was born in Walpole, Massachusetts, in 
1855. He prepared for college at Phillips Academy at Exeter, and 
graduated from Amherst in the class of 1876 with Phi Beta Kappa 
rank. After attending Harvard Law School for one year, he took a 
summer job as salesman with Ginn & Co., publishers of textbooks, in 
order to earn money enough to visit the Philadelphia Centennial. 
He did so well that Ginn persuaded him to leave the Law School and 
come with the company. In a few years he was a partner, and later 
head of the firm. He was elected to the Amherst Board by the alumni 
in 1890 at the age of thirty-five, and served his term of five years. In 
1900 he was elected to the life Board, and in 1907, at the age of fifty- 
two, he became president of the Board. He was a trustee of Union 
Theological Seminary, of Phillips Exeter Academy, trustee and treas- 
urer of Barnard College, trustee of the American College for Girls at 
Constantinople, of the World Peace Foundation, Boston, trustee and 
treasurer of the Church Peace Union, treasurer of the endowment 
fund of the American Philosophical Society, and of the American 
Academy of Political Science. 

He was a born collector. His collection of Dante items he gave to 

Pratt Gymnasium in 1863 befor^HBapSpmming pool was added 

The old gymnasium is now the Pratt Museum oi Natural History 

Main entrance to Pratt Field from the end of Hitchcock Road 

Football, track, and freshman baseball arc now played on Pratt Field 

Wellesley College in memory of his first wife. His unique collection 
of books on mathematics, catalogued under the title of Rara Arith- 
metica, he gave to Columbia University; his collection of French and 
Indian War items he gave to Amherst College with the request that 
they be hung in the Lord Jeffery Inn. His house on Park Avenue con- 
tained his collection of contemporary portraits of Elizabethan writers; 
his farm in Walpole was filled with other collections. 

He traveled widely in this country, in England and Europe, and in 
the Orient. He spoke at mathematical congresses and other gatherings 
of scholars. He published two books and numerous articles. He enter- 
tained generously. He gave liberally. And always he was active in 
stimulating gifts to the institutions with which he was connected. He 
accepted the treasurership of Barnard College when it was deeply in 
debt, raised money to pay off the debt, and raised more money to 
provide a generous endowment. He secured more gifts for Amherst 
than any other trustee — some for endowment, some for buildings, 
some for current expenses. So persistent was he at times that many 
men of wealth were reluctant to have him call on them. He called, 
however, and usually then or later secured a gift for this or that 

It was my privilege to work with him for many years. I saw him 
not only at Board meetings, but at his homes in New York and Wal- 
pole, and from time to time in Europe. I came to know him well and 
to know his reactions. He seemed to me to arrive at his conclusions by 
shrewd intuition rather than by logical processes, but his conclusions 
were generally sound. He was an elemental force that moved slowly 
but relentlessly to accomplish his ends in the advancement of educa- 
tional institutions. He never hurried, he always had ample time for 
the matter in hand at the moment, but he accomplished an amazing 
amount of work. 

His first active work for Amherst of which I have found a record 
was the cultivation of Henry Winkley of Philadelphia, some years be- 
fore he was elected to the Board, at the request of President Seelye. 
Winkley endowed a professorship of history and remembered the Col- 
lege in his will with a generous bequest. Then we find Plimpton casting 
the sole vote against the election of President Gates, at the first meeting 
of the Board he attended. Soon he appears as chairman of a committee 
to raise money to match an offer of D. Willis James. In the early days 
of the Gates administration, Professor Charles Carman resigned his 
post, largely because President Gates had made his position most un- 
comfortable. Carman promptly had a flattering call to the University 
of Michigan. It would have been a major loss to the College, as Carman 


was one of the most gifted teachers Amherst had ever had. "Old Doc" 
wrote a personal note to Plimpton. Plimpton enlisted the support of 
James, and Garman was persuaded to remain. To emphasize the 
Board's opinion of Garman, Plimpton suggested, and the Board ap- 
proved, the award of the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity to 
Garman, a layman. The president ceased making life uncomfortable 
for the professor who had this unusual imprimatur of the Board. 

Whenever Plimpton came to Amherst, he found time to call on a 
few of the faculty so that he could hear at first hand their views on the 
needs of the College. He was a good listener. He would give encourage- 
ment to a teacher who was feeling low in his mind, stimulate a teacher 
who seemed to him to be making inadequate progress, find funds for a 
teacher who needed some new equipment for his work. As he grew 
older and was surrounded by younger men on the Board, he seemed 
timeless. Year after year he would come to me and suggest that he 
ought to resign, and say that the College must be getting tired of hav- 
ing "Old Plimpton" still around. And I would insist that he remain 
active another year. A few days before his death he was in Amherst 
and lunched at the president's house. His younger son, Calvin, was 
with him, and he was taking him to Deerfield to show him the historical 
landmarks of Old Deerfield, after having introduced him to some of 
the senior professors at Amherst. 

George Plimpton was not primarily interested in erecting buildings 
for the College; his interest was in raising the money so that the build- 
ings needed by the College might be built. Other trustees served on the 
building committees; he was the one-man task force to raise the funds 
required for the purpose. 

We must now return to the summer of 1 899 when Harris was elected 
president. At the May meeting of the Board a communication was 
presented by the class of 1 884, which was about to celebrate its fifteenth 
reunion. The petition was signed for the class by James Mahoney, 
William C, Atwater, and Joseph Henry SpafFord, and was presented 
by Arthur Hazard Dakin who had been elected an alumni trustee in 
the previous year. The class proposed to erect a new College Hall 
for the College or to reconstruct the existing structure to make it more 
useful and to increase its beauty. The Board received the suggestion 
with enthusiasm, approved the suggestion in principle, and appointed 
a committee composed of Trustees Pratt and Dakin and the treasurer 
of the College to confer with the class. 

Arthur Hazard Dakin (i 862-1 936) had studied law at Harvard Law 
School and practiced his profession in Boston till 191 6, when he re- 
tired and moved to Amherst, He served on the Board for two terms 

as alumni trustee, from 1898 to 1908. His classmate, SpafFord, was 
his brother-in-law. Dakin developed a beautiful estate in Amherst, 
became an honorary member of the Faculty Club, a patron of the 
Amherst Golf Club, and for years was known affectionately as "the 

The generous offer of the class of 1 884 was, as far as I know, the 
first occasion when an Amherst class made an offer in the field of 
buildings and grounds. Earlier classes had established scholarship funds 
for the College in the name of the class, but '84 decided to do something 
for College Hall in connection with their reunion. College Hall was 
sorely in need of attention. I remember it well as an undergraduate, for 
I entered Amherst a year later, in the autumn of 1 900. When I gradu- 
ated, three years later, my class voted that the greatest need of the 
College was a new College Hall. We did not know that '84 was about 
to provide a thorough reconstruction of the old building. 

College Hall had long been a problem. In 1893 President Gates had 
suggested that the College's greatest need was an Alumni Hall with 
an auditorium to seat fifteen hundred (about double the capacity of 
College Hall) , with a lecture room to seat from three to four hundred, 
with a Memorial corridor, and with a wing to house the Mather Art 
Collection. Plans were prepared at his direction, but nothing came of 
them. Later Professor Genung, in his Notes on Amherst College Architec- 
ture, remarks, "If you should see these plans, gentle reader, you would 
thank your stars, I think, that we have safely emerged into an era, 
I will not say of better but different, and certainly of less riotous taste." 
For some reason the College did not feel obligated to pay the Boston 
architect's bill for services, and he brought suit against the College. 
He was an alumnus and the matter was adjusted, though not without 
some hard feeling. 

The special committee appointed by the Board, the Buildings and 
Grounds Committee of the Board, and representatives of the class of 
1 884 conferred, and then asked William R. Mead, the college architect, 
to study the problem and make a recommendation. At the June meet- 
ing in 1 904 the president submitted to the Board formal action of the 
class, which had adopted the suggestions of Mead. The class offered 
the College the class fund of Si 0,000 for the purpose of "altering and 
improving College Hall by adding a portico, extending the building 
and constructing a suitable stage; redecorating the interior, etc. — so 
that the improved building shall have a permanent place in the archi- 
tectural scheme of the College." The offer was made on condition that 
the Board appropriate $5,000 for the same purpose, so that "the archi- 
tect's plans may be fully and satisfactorily carried out." In November 


the Board approved, and the reconstruction was carried through at a 
cost of about $15,000. Mr. Mead's design and the generous gift of 
'84 had changed College Hall from an eyesore and a butt of ridicule 
to one of the loveliest buildings of the College. And in June 1905 the 
Board passed a special vote of appreciation to Mead for his services. 

Meanwhile, Professor David Todd had been active in promoting 
gifts for the Department of Astronomy. Todd had graduated from 
Amherst in the class of 1875, and after three years in the United States 
Naval Observatory and three years in the United States Nautical 
Almanac Office, had returned to Amherst in 1881 as instructor in 
astronomy and director of the Observatory. In 1882 he was made 
associate professor, and in 1892 he became full professor and served 
as a member of the faculty until 191 7. In December 1897 the Board 
was advised of a generous bequest from Charles T. Wilder of Wellesley 
Hills of $15,000 to be used "in the purchase of land for the erection 
thereon of a new Observatory and the purchase of other property to 
be used in connection with the astronomical professorship." Observa- 
tory House on Snell Street was promptly purchased by the College, 
together with additional land on which it was hoped some day to 
build an Observatory. And the hill behind Observatory House was 
named Wilder Hill by vote of the Board. 

In June 1901 Mrs. D. Willis James made a generous offer of $25,000 
toward the erection of an Observatory, provided an equal amount 
could be raised from other sources. And, modestly, she asked that her 
offer be anonymous. Plimpton was made a committee of one to take 
up the matter. In November he reported that friends of the College, 
a list of whom he read to the Board, had guaranteed the sum of 
$25,000 to meet Mrs. James' offer, and that her gift had now been paid 
over to the treasurer. The Board appointed Plimpton, Whitcomb, and 
James a committee to prepare plans for the building. They reported 
the following May and were authorized to proceed at once with the 
erection of the building. The cost, when completed, exceeded the 
estimates by some $3,000, making a total cost of about $53,000. 

The donors, as reported by the Finance Committee, were, in addi- 
tion to Mrs. James: 

H. A. Wilder 


M. L. SchiflF, '96 


G. A. Plimpton, '76 

1 .465 

C. M. Pratt, '79 


E. A. Strong, '55 


M. W. Tyler, '62 


S. V. White 



W. F. Whiting, '86 


G. H. Whitcomb, '64 


Collin Armstrong, '77 


F. L. Babbott, '78 


A. H. Dakin, '84 


J. E. Day, '71 


A. P. Rugg, '83 


James Turner, '80 


P. B. Wyckoff, '68 


F. J. Goodnow, '79 


A. A. Spear, '66 


J. H. Sweetser, '57 


R. L. Day 


L. F. Abbott, '81 


C. H. Alien, '69 


W. H. Chickering, '71 


W. H. Hagen, '79 


F. H. Harriman, '87 


C. E. Kelsey, '84 


F. W. Whitridge, '74 


D. P. Clapp 


M. C. Thaw 



The deficit was guaranteed by Frank L. Babbott, '78, G. Henry 
Whitcomb, '64, George A. PKmpton, '76, each for S915, and Charles M. 
Pratt, '79, for twice that amount. The architects were again McKim, 
Mead & White of New York, and the contractor was Albion B. Allen 
of Amherst. 

Ground was broken for the Observatory at a formal occasion on 
May 2, 1903. President Harris read the scripture lesson. Professor Todd 
presented a statement, ground was broken by Plimpton, the chairman 
of the Building Committee, and prayer was offered by Reverend 
Henry Preserved Smith of the faculty. Photographers were present 
and secured a photograph of Plimpton as he drove the spade into the 
ground. Six weeks later the cornerstone was laid at another formal 
ceremony (June 23, 1903), at which Reverend E. Winchester Donald 
read the scripture, Professor Genung read a poem by Alice Freeman 
Palmer, Professors Todd, Richardson, and Symington spoke, Messrs. 
Plimpton and Mead, assisted by Albion B. Allen, the contractor, and 
D. H. Lake, the president of my class (1903), sealed the bronze box 
inserted in the cornerstone. The stone was then laid by Trustees San- 
ford and Allen, President Harris, and Arthur Curtiss James. Dr. Al- 
bert J. Lyman offered the prayer. Francis Epaphroditus Whitmore of 


the junior class led in the singing of a hymn. Mrs. C. E. Whiton-Stone 
read an ode composed for the occasion, and Professor Henry Preserved 
Smith offered the benediction. The following spring the Observatory 
was completed, and a brochure was issued with illustrations of Plimpton 
turning the first sod, the ceremony of laying the cornerstone, and the 
building in various stages of construction. On the cover was a photo- 
graph of the Observatory House. The construction of this relatively 
small building was attended with more formality than obtained in the 
case of our larger and more important structures. 

In connection with the plans for the Observatory, an amusing inci- 
dent occurred which surprised the trustee committee and gave rise to 
considerable correspondence. Professor Todd had stored two discs with 
the Alvan Clark & Sons Corporation of Cambridge, and it now seemed 
desirable to have them ground into lenses for use. Investigation by the 
committee disclosed the curious fact that title to the discs rested one- 
half with the College and one-half with the former president, Mer- 
rill E. Gates. The College, therefore, had to negotiate for the purchase 
of his share. 

Meanwhile a dispute had developed between the authorities of the 
Town of Amherst and the College as to the taxation of certain property 
of the College. The Board referred the matter to counsel to work out a 
compromise on terms approved by the president, treasurer, and Trustee 
Whitcomb. The Observatory House was one of the points in the dis- 
pute, as the town was levying taxes on it. The case was carried to the 
Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth in 1 898 and again in 
1906. The College was represented by Marquis Fayette Dickinson, 
'62, of Boston (a partner of Trustee Henry D. Hyde, '61, who had died 
in 1897), and by J. C. Hammond, '65, and Henry P. Field, '80, of 
Northampton. The town's lawyer was W. J. Reilley. The court, in an 
opinion by Justice Morton, held that the President's House, the Ob- 
servatory House, Blake Field, and Hallock Grove were not subject to 
taxation, but that the president's barn and the Parsons house, located 
on college property and rented to a tenant, were taxable. The cases 
are reported in 173 Massachusetts 232 and 193 Massachusetts 168. 

At its November meeting in 1 903 the Board received the offer of a 
gift of $5,000 for a purpose entirely new to Amherst, which was to 
have far-reaching consequences. The class of 1893, which had recently 
celebrated its tenth reunion, offered the gift through a committee 
headed by Charles D. Norton, for the purpose of a thorough survey 
of the grounds of the College, involving expert recommendations as 
to their landscape gardening and the placing of future buildings. The 
'93 committee had enlisted the services of William R. Mead, '67, and 

of Messrs. Daniel H. Burnham, the Chicago architect, Augustus St. 
Gaudens, the distinguished sculptor, Charles F. McKim, Mead's part- 
ner, and Frederick Law Olmsted, the leading landscape architect of 
the country. Burnham, St. Gaudens, McKim, and Olmsted were at 
the time members of the Washington Park Commission. 

This farsighted program had been developed by Norton with the 
cooperation of George D. Pratt, and they, with their classmates, O. H. 
Story, G. F. Kennedy, T. C. Esty, and J. L. Kemmerer, made up the 
committee. The class had pledged to give $5,000, and the College was 
offered the demand note of Pratt, which had been sent to the president. 
The Board accepted the offer with grateful appreciation, and appointed 
the five men suggested by the class as an honorary commission to act 
in cooperation with the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the 

Charles Day Norton (1871-1923) was the son of a member of the 
class of 1856. After graduation from college, he was in business in 
New York and Chicago. In i go6 he became chairman of the Committee 
on Plan of the City of Chicago. In 1 909 he was appointed assistant 
secretary of the Treasury, in 1910 secretary to President Taft, in 191 1 
vice president of the First National Bank in New York City, and in 
1 91 8 president of the First National Security Company in New York. 
He had been picked by George F. Baker, the president and dominant 
stockholder in the First National Bank, as a possible successor, and 
was one of the rising younger men in the New York financial world 
when his career was cut short by death in 1923. 

Norton had come to know Burnham in his early days in Chicago, 
and had been impressed by Burnham's ideas of comprehensive planning 
in the development of Chicago. He had returned to his tenth reunion 
fired with the idea of such a comprehensive plan for his alma mater, 
and had carried his class with him in the program. Pratt and he had, 
I believe, underwritten the gift. 

The Honorary Commission suggested by Norton and appointed by 
the Board included the most distinguished men in the field in the 
entire country. Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846-1912) of Chicago had 
made a worldwide reputation by planning the Chicago World's Fair 
(1893), was chosen president of the American Institute of Architects 
the following year, and was asked to propose plans for improving sev- 
eral of our leading cities, including Cleveland, San Francisco, Chicago, 
and Baltimore. He was chairman of the national committee for beauti- 
fying Washington, and was commissioned by the federal government 
to design plans for cities in the Philippines, including Manila. 

Augustus St. Gaudens (1848-1907) was the greatest American sculp- 

[ 123] 

tor of his day, and today is regarded by many as the greatest the 
country has ever produced. Born in DubHn, of a French father and 
Irish mother, he came to this country in infancy. Among his most 
distinguished works of art are the Deacon Chapin statue in Spring- 
field, Massachusetts (1887), the Adams Memorial in Rock Creek Park, 
Washington (1891), and the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial on Boston 
Common (1897). 

Charles Follen McKim (i 847-1 909) was Mead's partner. He was 
one of the founders of the American School of Classical Studies in 
Rome; received a gold medal at the Paris Exposition of 1909; and in 
1903 received the King's Medal of the Royal Institute of British 
Architects. His name is particularly associated with the buildings of 
the Boston Public Library and the University Club of New York. 

Frederick Law Olmsted was a son of the distinguished landscape 
architect who had designed Central Park in New York, as well as 
parks in many other large cities of the continent. On his father's re- 
tirement in 1895, the firm became Olmsted Brothers and carried on 
the high traditions of professional competence established by the 
father. The father, with his partner Vaux, had been consulted by the 
College as early as 1864, and had been awarded the honorary degree 
of Master of Arts in 1867. 

In spite of the great distinction of these men, it should be noted 
that they were all, with the exception of Mead, nearing the end of 
life. The significance of the project of the class of 1893 lay less in the 
specific report submitted than in the focussing of attention on the 
subject of expert guidance in advance planning for the beautification 
of a campus of great natural charm. 

Under the direction of the commission, the college architects, 
McKim, Mead & White, made a comprehensive plan for the develop- 
ment of the college campus and the location of new buildings. This 
was, I believe, the first such plan for the Amherst campus since Jacob 
Abbott's original plan adopted by the Board in 1827, and as such it 
marked a great step in advance. It was presented to the Board at the 
Commencement meeting in 1906 by Trustee Charles M. Pratt, with 
the recommendation that "the Board adopt the plan ... as a guide 
to be followed in the further development of college grounds and the 
location of college buildings, so far as shall be possible in due regard 
to the pecuniary and other interests of the college" and that "no sub- 
stantial departure from the plan should be made until the same shall 
have been submitted to the commission, or the surviving members 
thereof, and they shall have been heard in regard thereto, to the end 
that no mistake shall be made in the development of college grounds 

and the construction of the college buildings." The Board adopted 
Pratt's suggestion and expressed its grateful appreciation to the com- 
mission and to the class of 1893. 

In November 1 914, the class of 1 893, through its president, George D. 
Pratt, presented a letter to the Board calling attention to the fact that 
since the appointment of the commission three of its members had 
died (Burnham, St. Gaudens, and McKim), and recommending the 
creation of a new commission. The Board thereupon established an 
honorary permanent Commission of Fine Arts to be composed of 
"five well qualified judges of the Fine Arts and one lay member." 
The commission was to include an architect, a landscape architect, 
a painter, a sculptor, and a representative of the class of '93, to serve 
without compensation, except expenses, for a term of five years and 
until their successors were appointed. The Board accepted the further 
recommendation of the class that Mead become chairman and be re- 
quested to nominate the other members. 

The Board defined the duties of the commission "to advise upon: 
a. the general plan of development of the grounds, b. the plans and 
locations of all structures, c. all works of art offered to the college." 
"No change affecting the landscape development of the college shall 
be made, no buildings or statue shall be erected, and no work of art 
accepted, until said commission has given its approval, and the Trus- 
tees have concurred." 

In May 1916, on Mead's recommendation, the Board elected to the 
commission Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect and son of 
the earlier Olmsted, Hugh Elliott, painter, of the Boston Museum of 
Fine Arts, Adolph A. Weinman, sculptor, of New York, William M. 
Kendall, architect and Mead's partner, and Charles D. Norton of the 
class of '93. A year later this definition of the powers and duties of 
the commission was modified to make the judgment of the commission 
advisory only to president and trustees, and fixing the compensation 
of the members at $100 per annum and expenses, plus additional com- 
pensation for special work done beyond the normal meetings. 

The commission played an active part in the planning and location 
of buildings on the campus until 191 7, and in the acceptance of works 
of art tendered to the College until 1 92 1 . Thereafter, a new program 
for professional advice was adopted by the Board, more effective and 
less cumbersome. 

Meanwhile, another class, stimulated by the gifts of 1 884 and 1 893, 
decided it wished to do something for the college plant in connection 
with its tenth reunion. In January 1906 an informal meeting of mem- 
bers of the class of 1 896 residing in and near New York was held at 


the Murray Hill Hotel to raise funds for the reunion, and "the making 
of a gift to the college." The spearhead of the movement was Roberts 
Walker, who had already communicated with President Harris to in- 
quire as to the needs of the College. The president had replied, suggest- 
ing that a fund of from Si,ooo to $3,500 "could be spent in the renova- 
tion of Johnson Chapel, which should include painting the outside 
walls, tinting the inside walls and ceilings, providing new floors through- 
out, and if the fund were large enough, providing an organ for the 

The plan was discussed at the dinner, but a doubt was raised as to 
whether the redecoration of the Chapel would not have to be undone, 
*'in case the eastern front of the building should be embellished with a 
portico and doors so as to give it a front on the campus, this plan being 
spoken of by Professor Esty at the last Amherst smoker." The com- 
mittee, speaking through Walker, then corresponded with William R. 
Mead. Mead replied under date of January 11, 1906, saying that "the 
plans for remodeling the eastern end of the Chapel, so as to give a 
facade toward the campus and help the quadrangle effect, has never 
been developed, but this work is an important feature of the general 
scheme for the Amherst improvements. The exterior of the building 
may, at some future day, be further restored, but I think you need 
not fear that the work which your class proposes would have to be 
undone; on the other hand, it seems to me it would be a distinctive 
thing for any class to do. It is the general idea of the commission to 
turn the site of the three older buildings of the College into a kind of 
Acropolis crowned by the original College." 

Roberts Walker (i 874-1 926) was a New York lawyer, for many 
years a partner of White & Case, and at one time president of the Rock 
Island Railroad. He was later active in the organization of the Alumni 

For some reason the plan of the class fell through, perhaps because 
1906 was a difficult year in the financial world, and particularly in 
New York City. 

In 1908 still another class made a gift to the College. It was the 
twenty-fifth reunion of the class of '83, and they presented the College 
with a check for $3,000 for the purchase of a new organ for Johnson 

We must turn back now to the Pratt brothers. The youngest of the 
six brothers, Harold Irving, had graduated from the College in the 
class of 1900. "Old Doc" was still active in college affairs, and, in fact, 
had been chairman of the triumvirate during Pratt's junior year. Two 
years after his graduation, Harold addressed an informal letter to 

President Harris, asking whether the trustees would accept the gift 
of a swimming pool to be placed in the basement of the gymnasium. 
The matter was referred to the president and Plimpton. A few months 
later the president received a letter from Mortimer L. Schiff of the 
class of 1896, offering to build three squash rackets courts for the Col- 
lege. The Board promptly accepted Schiff's offer and referred the matter 
to a committee composed of the president and treasurer, and Trustee 
C. M. Pratt. 

The president at this time had outlined to the Board and the alumni 
his building program. This did not include either a swimming pool 
or a squash rackets building, but did propose as the most serious need 
of the College "a building, similar to the Harvard Union and the 
Dartmouth Union, containing a small hall for lectures, a reading room, 
a social meeting place, and rooms for the various student organizations 
and the Christian Association." The second serious need of the College, 
in the opinion of the president, was a "central heating-plant." If that 
were built first, the president pointed out, "it would then be possible, 
at little or no cost, to maintain a swimming pool." 

At the November meeting of the Board in 1 904, the president pre- 
sented a letter from Pratt and Schiff dated November 1 1 , 1 904 and 
reading as follows: 

"The idea of securing sufficient funds to erect the proposed Assem- 
bly Building having been for the present given up, we desire to 
be released from any pledge we made toward the erection of the 
building, and in lieu of the same, desire to make to the Trustees 
the following proposition. 

"Provided the College will furnish adequate ground for a site, 
adjoining the present Gymnasium on the South, we are willing 
to erect a building approximately 40 X 100 ft., and equip 
the same with a swimming pool on the ground floor, and 
squash courts on the second floor, as indicated by the accom- 
panying plan. 

"To do this in any satisfactory manner and in keeping with the 
exterior and interior arrangements of the Gymnasium, it will be 
necessary to rearrange the Bathroom in the basement of the pres- 
ent Gymnasium and the Locker Room on the second floor. It will 
also be necessary to remove the present heating plant and install 
one of much greater heating capacity, sufficient to heat the present 
Gymnasium and the Tank in the new building. This, we are 
willing to do, utilizing the old material in whatever way may be 
most serviceable. 


"Trusting the above may be acceptable to the Board of Trustees 
of the College, and awaiting an early reply, that the work may 
be undertaken as early as possible, we are 

Very truly yours, 
Harold I. Pratt 
Mortimer L. SchifF" 

The Board immediately accepted the generous offer of the two young 
alumni, and the wing was added to Pratt Gymnasium containing a 
swimming pool and squash courts. "Old Doc," for forty-three years 
head of the Department of Hygiene and Physical Education, was now 
senior member of the faculty in length of service. He had seen the six 
Pratt brothers enter the college and graduate, the first in the class of 
1879 and the youngest in the class of 1900. He had seen each brother 
make a generous gift to his alma mater a few years after graduation, 
and each gift had been a building to add to the equipment of the 
Department of Physical Education. With Pratt Gymnasium, Pratt 
Field, Pratt Health Cottage, and the new swimming pool and squash 
courts, his department was better equipped than any in the College. 
And he knew in his heart that these gifts had been made out of respect 
and affection for him. He was an old man and he felt the weight of 
his years. In one of his notebooks containing his reminiscences, written 
about this time, is this poignant entry: "OA, there is such a thing as living 
too long/" (Italics his.) 

Harold Irving Pratt (i 877-1 939) graduated in the class of 1900, 
and then traveled for a year before joining the family firm of Charles 
Pratt & Co. He became treasurer and trustee of Pratt Institute, man- 
aged the Pratt estate, was director or trustee of a number of large 
corporations, trustee of numerous philanthropic institutions, and in 1 936 
made a generous gift of a new swimming pool to the College. 

Mortimer Leo Schiff (i 877-1 931) was the son of Jacob Schiff, the 
New York banker and senior partner in the private banking firm of 
Kuhn, Loeb & Co. He attended Amherst from 1892 till 1894 as a 
member of the class of 1896. Then his father took him out of college 
to serve an apprenticeship for two years with the New York, Ontario 
& Western Railway Company and the Great Northern Railroad. From 
1896 till 1898 he studied banking in the family banking houses in 
Hamburg, Germany, and in London. At the age of twenty-three he 
was a partner in Kuhn, Loeb & Co. For the rest of his life he was an 
active banker, as well as director of a large number of corporations and 
trustee of numerous philanthropic enterprises. He was always a gen- 
erous benefactor of his alma mater, and ten years after the graduation 

of his class he was awarded the honorary degree of Master of Arts by 
Amherst to make him an alumnus. In college he was a member of 
the same fraternity as Dwight Morrow, who was a class ahead of him, 
and they became lifelong friends. Years later Morrow became a partner 
of J. P. Morgan & Co. and the two college friends were members of 
the two greatest banking houses in America, houses that for a genera- 
tion had been intense rivals in the financing of the expanding business 
of the country. Morrow and Schiff often returned together to the col- 
lege, sometimes in Schiff's private railroad car. Schiff was as loyal 
and devoted an alumnus as if he had taken his entire four years at the 
college — as he would have done had his father not made other plans 
for his education. 

This addition to Pratt Gymnasium cost approximately $50,000. The 
architects were Boring & Tilton (later Tilton & Allen) of 32 Broadway, 
New York. The contractors were Allen Bros, of Amherst and Morris 
Building Company. 

At about the same time, Frederic B. Pratt, '87, gave the College a 
triangular piece of land opposite the entrance to Pratt Field. Pratt 
feared that if this small tract fell into other hands, a building might be 
erected on it, and so, with characteristic foresight, he bought it and 
deeded it to the College. In the same year Edward A. Strong, '55, 
gave the College his fine property on Lincoln Avenue in Amherst, 
consisting of about eight acres of land, a large house and stable. The 
gift was unrestricted and the Board referred the question of what 
should be done with the property to a committee composed of the 
president, treasurer, and Trustee Whitcomb. The committee decided 
that the property was "too remote from the College to be available for 
buildings," and it was sold for about $g,ooo. Forty-two years later 
the property came on the market again and I recommended to the 
Board the purchase of house and stable and the land fronting on Lincoln 
Avenue. It was bought back by the College in 1946 for $12,500 and 
made into the Lord Jeff Clubhouse. 

Edward Alexander Strong (1834-1912) was born in Boston and 
graduated from Amherst in the class of 1855. After attending Andover 
Theological Seminary for one term, he became a merchant in Boston 
and a director of many corporations. He served as an alumni trustee 
of Amherst for five years, from 1 885 till 1 890, when he was succeeded 
by George A. Plimpton. The proceeds of the sale of the Lincoln Avenue 
property were applied to the reconstruction of Barrett Hall for use by 
the modern language departments. Strong's father had been the first 
donor to the art collection of the College, and in his memory Strong 
gave the College a marble bust of his father, Alexander Strong, whose 


gift, made in 1867, was a "beautiful oil painting of Aurora for the 
Greek Recitation Room," accompanied by Si, 000 for the use of the 
same department, given through Professor Mather. 

The sale of the Strong property was handled for the College by 
Trustee Dakin; in November 1907 he reported that the property had 
been sold and that Miss Beaman had been instrumental in selling it, 
and suggested the propriety of paying her a commission on the sale. 
The matter was left to the Finance Committee. 

In 1907 Charles M. Pratt gave the College an outdoor skating rink 
and rink house. It was located just east of the main gate of Pratt Field 
between the present homes of Mrs. Olds and Professor Newlin. Ap- 
parently Mr. Pratt let the contract and paid the bills personally, for I 
can find no record of the gift in the minutes of the Board. The rink 
house and rink were well built and were designed to fill what the 
Department of Physical Education felt at the time to be a need to 
provide outdoor exercise in winter and to enable the College to have a 
hockey team in competition with the teams of our sister colleges. Un- 
fortunately, the location, so admirable in many ways, was at a point 
where the southern sun prevented the surface of the rink from forming 
a hard surface of ice, and the rink never served fully the purpose for 
which it was intended. When Hitchcock Road was put through to 
connect the Cage with the main entrance to Pratt Field, the rink house 
was moved to the north side of Pratt Field as a field house for visiting 
teams — a purpose which it has served admirably ever since — and 
the rink was removed. In 1942 the house was reconstructed to serve 
as a classroom for the Civilian Defense School assigned to Amherst by 
the War Department. After the war, it reverted to its use as a field 
house for visiting teams. 

At the May meeting of the Board in 1906, the president reported that 
Andrew Carnegie had given the College $75,000 for the erection of a 
biological and geological laboratory, provided that an equal amount 
be raised for the purpose, and provided that $50,000 out of the total 
of $150,000 thus to be obtained "shall be reserved as a fund, the in- 
come of which shall be used for the maintenance of the laboratories." 
The president added that about half of the $75,000 necessary to meet 
the conditions of the Carnegie gift had already been raised, and that 
the whole sum might be expected soon. Carnegie's interest in Amherst 
had been stimulated by Plimpton, and Plimpton, with the Carnegie 
offer in hand, had already raised half of the necessary amount. 

The Board appointed a committee to report on location and plans 
for the proposed building, and named Plimpton, the president, and 
Charles M. Pratt as a committee. 

A month later the Board had the satisfactory news that the entire 
$75,000 necessary to meet the conditions imposed by Carnegie was in 
sight, and that the money would probably be paid in by September. 
The Building Committee was enlarged by the addition of Trustees 
Dakin and Whitcomb, and was authorized to proceed with the selec- 
tion of a site and the erection of a building. In November 1907, Plimp- 
ton reported that plans for the building, drawn by McKim, Mead and 
White, had been approved and bids secured, but that "owing to present 
financial conditions it seemed not wise to begin building now." 

The country was just emerging from a sharp financial panic in 
which several of the large New York banks had been forced to 

The following spring construction began. Horton & Hemenway of 
Boston were the contractors, and the price was not to exceed $90,000. 
Treasurer Kidder was entrusted with general supervision of the execu- 
tion of the contract. The building was completed in the winter, and 
the dedication was held. 

A complete list of the donors follows: 

Andrew Carnegie $75,000 

D. Willis James 20,000 
James T. Bishop, '65 500 
Dwight S. Herrick, '67 250 
William R. Mead, '67 1,612 
Woods Fund by Robert M. Woods, '69 7^1 69 
John W. Simpson, '71 10,000 
Frank W. Stearns, '78 1,000 
Frank J. Goodnow, '79 500 
Charles M. Pratt, '79 1 5,000 
William C. Atwater, '84 1,000 
Arthur H. Dakin, '84 1,000 
Charles E. Kelsey, '84 250 
Fred M. Smith, '84 250 
Joseph H. Spafford, '84 250 
Willard H. Wheeler, '84 500 

E. Parmalee Prentice, '85 500 
Edwin E. Jackson, '89 250 
Frederick C. Sayles, Jr., '90 1,000 
Mortimer L. Schiff, '96 10,000 
Edward C. Crossett, '05 1,000 
Class of 1882 i>9i7 

" " 1885 600 

" " 1897 180 

" " 1901 3H 


In 1 91 2 porticoes were erected over the two entrances on the north 
side of the building from plans of McKim, Mead & White, at a cost 
of $2,006. 

President Harris urged the erection of a "Union" Building as early 
as June 1 903, and the Board appointed a committee to consider the 
matter and report on a site. The committee was composed of the 
president, and Trustees Whitcomb and Donald, and was authorized 
to spend not over $500 for professional advice. Elijah Winchester 
Donald (i 848-1 904) served as a trustee from 1887 till his death in 
1904. He had graduated from the College in the class of 1869. After 
teaching for a few years he had attended theological seminary; he 
became one of the leading preachers in the Protestant Episcopal 
Church. In 1892 he succeeded Phillips Brooks as rector of Trinity 
Church in Boston. 

The college enrollment was growing and the president felt the need 
of a college commons, as Hitchcock Hall was inadequate in size to 
the need and was poorly arranged. The idea of a single building to 
sei-ve as a "Union" and Commons developed naturally. In 1908 the 
Board considered the location of Hitchcock Hall (now the site of Con- 
verse Memorial Library) as a site for a Union and Commons. It was 
hoped that the bequest from the Currier estate would make possible 
the erection of the building. In May 1909 the Board formally went on 
record as favoring a combined Union and Commons, provided the 
funds could be secured, and the matter was referred to the Building 
and Grounds Committee with the addition of Plimpton. Unhappily, 
the bequest of the Currier estate proved to be less than had been hoped. 
Edward West Currier (i 841-1907) had transferred to Amherst after 
a freshman year at Harvard, and had graduated in the class of 1865. 
On graduation he joined the firm of Currier & Ives, became a partner 
a year later, and continued with the firm until his death. His will con- 
tained a bequest of $ 1 0,000 for the college library and named the Col- 
lege as residuary legatee, the residuary legacy being unrestricted both 
as to principal and income. At first it was thought that the residue 
would amount to $400,000, and the president urged that $175,000 of 
this be used for the erection of Union and Commons in one building. 
During the settlement of the estate it became clear that the residue 
would fall far short of this amount and might not be more than 
$125,000. The president urged the Board to use $100,000 of this for 
the erection of a Union, designed so that a Commons wing could be 
added later when funds became available. To meet the immediate 
problem, the Board authorized the expenditure of not over $5,000 for 
the enlargement of the facilities of Hitchcock Hall. 

Bnltw ood House, renamed Hitchcock Hall, on the site of Converse Library 

ig m n la la li |[. 


Pratt Health Cottage, for many years the college infirmary 

Meanwhile, Plimpton was engaged in attempting to raise a fund of 
$500,000, partly for endowment for increased salaries and partly for a 
Union, In May 1910 he reported progress to the extent of $300,000. 
The following year the fund was completed at $401,000, but it was 
exclusively for endowment for faculty salaries and is known as the 
Salary Fund of 191 1. No action was taken on Union or Commons. 

The president was urging other building needs as his administration 
developed. By 1908 he proposed the following projects in addition to 
the Union and Commons, which was always the first on his list of needs. 

1 . Enlargement of College Church 

2. A new dormitory 

3. Another recitation building 

4. Enlargement of the library building 

On the problem of enlarging the church, the Board appointed a 
committee composed of the president and Trustees Tyler and James. 

Mason Whiting Tyler (i 840-1 906) was the son of Professor Wil- 
liam S. Tyler, known affectionately as "Old Ty," and brother of 
Professor John M. Tyler, known as "Tip." Born in Amherst, and 
graduating from the College in the class of 1862, he served in the 
Union Army from graduation till the close of the war, and then studied 
law at Columbia Law School. He practiced his profession in New York 
City, served as trustee of Amherst from 1901 until 1907, and as governor 
of New Jersey. 

Arthur Curtiss James had succeeded his father as a trustee in 1 904 
and served until 1938, when poor health forced him to retire. He was 
elected trustee-emeritus, and maintained a close connection with the 
Board until his death in 1941. James was born in New York City and 
graduated from the College in the class of 1889. He inherited one of the 
large fortunes of the country and for many years was reputed to be 
the largest individual stockholder in American railroads. In addition, 
he was a director and large stockholder in Phelps Dodge & Co., di- 
rector of the First National Bank of New York, and of many other 
corporations. Like his father, he was one of the great philanthropists 
of his day, and, like his father, he made many of his gifts anonymously. 
He was deeply interested in religion, in his college, in his class, in his 
fraternity, in his church. His major avocation was sailing, and his 
yacht, the Aloha, was one of the finest in the world. He was himself "a 
blue water sailor," made frequent crossings of the Atlantic and one 
trip around the world, and was for some time commodore of the New 
York Yacht Club. He was one of the most generous benefactors of the 
College, though his name was attached to no building or fund at the 

[ 133] 

time of his death. In 1946 the Board named one of its two new dormi- 
tories James Hall, in recognition of the long years of generous service 
rendered the College by father and son. 

On Mason Tyler's retirement from the Board, his place on the com- 
mittee on the church was taken by Trustee Kelsey. Henry Hopkins 
Kelsey (i 853-1 926) served as alumni trustee from 1902 till 191 2. A 
graduate of the College in the class of 1876, and classmate of Plimpton, 
he was at the time of his election to the Board a pastor in Hartford. 
The committee consulted Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, Boston archi- 
tects, who recommended an extension of the church of about sixty 
feet to the west, placing the chancel, organ, and pulpit on the east. 
The addition would provide two hundred additional seats; the cost, 
with the addition of a new organ, was estimated at $20,000. The 
problem was referred back to the committee which, in December 1 908, 
submitted a second set of plans from the Cram firm, providing a total 
seating capacity of eight hundred and costing some $52,500. The Board 
wondered whether it would not be better to take down the church al- 
together and build a new one. At the June meeting in 1 909 the Board 
met the situation by approving galleries in the transepts, a new organ, 
and the rearrangement of pulpit and choir seats, and appropriated 
$7,500 for the purpose. 

The alterations actually cost $9,092.21. Horton & Hemenway of 
Boston were the contractors, and the Austin Organ Company built 
the organ. Unfortunately, the design of the galleries was such that 
many of the students in the galleries could not see the pulpit, and 
there were also areas where the audience could not hear the preacher. 
The president's proposal for a new dormitory would require a large 
amount of money. In presenting the need for this building, the president 
had pointed out that North and South Colleges accommodated about 
one hundred students between them, the fraternity houses about two 
hundred and fifty. This left one hundred and seventy-five students 
who must find rooms in private houses. As the fraternity houses were 
occupied by upperclassmen, and as the upperclassmen had priority 
in assignment of dormitory rooms, about half of the freshman class had 
to find rooms in the town. 

On July 15, 1 910, occurred the death of Morris Pratt, the second son 
of Charles M. Pratt. Morris Pratt, born in 1 885, entered Amherst in 
1907 as a member of the class of 191 1. His brother Theodore had 
graduated in 1909, and his younger brother, Richardson, was pre- 
paring for Amherst. Morris had finished his junior year when he died 
during the summer vacation. In his memory his father and mother 
offered the College a new dormitory. The location selected by them 

was approved by the Board in June 191 1, and the Morris Pratt Memo- 
rial Dormitory was presented to the College in 191 2. The architect, 
selected by Mr. and Mrs. Pratt, was Charles A. Rich. 

The Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory was designed and built with- 
out regard to cost. In type of construction, in arrangement of rooms, 
in low cost of maintenance, the College had, and now has, no better 
building. It included a common social room, a room for the Phi Beta 
Kappa Society, liberal bath and toilet facilities. Since its building it 
has proved to be a most popular dormitory. 

On February 15, 1911, the last of the old professors whose memory 
went back to the early days of the College died. "Old Doc" had lived 
for nearly eighty-three years. He had been born three years after the 
College received its charter. As a boy growing up in the town, he had 
known personally many of the earlier students. As a member of the 
faculty for a full half century, he had had all of the living alumni in 
his classes in physical education. He had had each of the Pratt brothers 
as his students, and now had seen their sons begin to come to the 
College. The College would soon celebrate its centennial, but he was 
bowed down with the weight of years. A new era was opening. 

President Harris too was becoming conscious of his years. He had 
graduated in 1866, he had seen his son graduate in 1906; his wife 
was not well. On November 15, 191 1, he wrote his letter of resignation 
as president, and handed it to the Board the following day. The Board 
accepted it with regret, and appointed a committee composed of 
Plimpton, chairman, and Messrs. Simpson, James, Walker, Williams, 
and Gillett to recommend a successor. On May 17, 191 2, Alexander 
Meiklejohn was elected to succeed him, and at the close of Commence- 
ment President Harris completed his term as the seventh president 
of the College. Dean Woodbridge, '8g, speaking years later, referred to 
Harris as "a good president" and to Seelye as "a great president." 
This judgment seems to me a just one. 

Harris was not a builder. He had, however, seen the addition of the 
Observatory, the Swimming Pool and Squash Courts, the Biology and 
Geology Laboratory, and the Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory to the 
college campus. "Old Doc" had been the impetus for the swimming 
pool and squash courts, Professor Todd for the observatory, Plimpton 
for the laboratory building; and the tragic death of Morris Pratt had 
resulted in the beautiful memorial of the dormitory. 

A member of the faculty remembers that Harris took great pride in 
having the yellow paint removed from the exterior of Johnson Chapel, 
exposing the beautiful rose colored brick. This was a positive, if modest, 
accomplishment and was carried through in 1910 at a cost of about 


Si, 536. The paint was removed from the exterior of Appleton a dozen 
years later at my suggestion. 

The unsatisfactory galleries in the church are not to be charged to 
Harris, but to the architect and to the committee, headed by Kelsey. 
For most of the Harris administration there had been harmonious 
relations with students, faculty, trustees, and alumni, which was not 
the case in the preceding or in the succeeding administrations. But 
Harris' administration had lacked dynamic force and leadership and 
this was sensed by faculty, trustees, and alumni, if not by the student 
body. The College was a pleasant place in which to work and to play, 
but there was no sense that important things were happening in the 
educational life of the institution. There was no sharp cutting edge to 
the tools that the undergraduates were being taught to use. And the 
Amherst constituency grew restless under the benign influence of a 
president who, in the years of his presidency, was not himself a hard 
worker. The omens were auspicious for his young successor. Harris 
was retiring at sixty-eight; Meiklejohn was just forty when he took 

On the death of Dr. Hitchcock the members of the Board and many 
of the alumni gave thought to a suitable memorial for the "Old 
Doctor." The College had recently purchased some forty acres of 
land directly south of Pratt Gymnasium extending to the tracks of the 
Massachusetts Central at a cost of some $24,000. It was suggested that 
this land be graded and developed into playing fields for the student 
body as a memorial to the Doctor, as Pratt Field was used by the 
athletic teams of the College. At the November meeting of the Board 
in 191 1, at which President Harris presented his resignation, the Board 
voted to approve the suggestion and subscriptions were received for 
the development of the proposed program. 

The Buildings and Grounds Committee retained Herbert J. Kella- 
way, a Boston landscape, architect, to prepare plans, and the work 
began. Terraces were built from Pratt Gymnasium down the slope, 
six tennis courts were installed, three grass plots developed, and a ball 
field was built. Drainage was provided into temporary cesspools and 
plans were made for connection with the town sewer system. Sub- 
scriptions to the fund amounted to some Si 8,000, of which about one- 
quarter was contributed by undergraduates; the College added $5,000 
from its unrestricted funds. The first section of Hitchcock Field was 
ready for the inspection of the donors and other alumni at Commence- 
ment in 1 91 3. Further development of the plans for the Field had to 
wait another decade, when additional funds were made available. It 
was a fitting memorial to the "Old Doctor"; probably no other would 

have pleased him as much. And its use by the student body testified 
to the need it filled. 

At the May meeting of the Board in 1 91 3, Plimpton presented a letter 
addressed to him under date of April 28, 191 3 from Richard Billings 
of the class of 1897, as follows: 

"My dear Mr. Plimpton: 

"It is my desire to give Amherst College an appropriate memo- 
rial to Noah Webster. Acting on your suggestion, I am writing you 
and formally laying the matter before the Trustees. 

"The idea was suggested by certain incidents in my father's 
career. Frederic Billings was something more than an able lawyer 
and financier; he was pre-eminently the good citizen, the man of 
culture, and the earnest citizen. Some of his most productive years 
were spent as a pioneer in California. He took the time to advance 
religion and education. Particularly he was the prime mover in 
establishing what is now the University of California. The very 
name of Berkeley was given by him. He was chosen President of 
the Board of Trustees and might have been President of the Col- 
lege. This he declined, going ahead with his regular work, which 
took him anywhere and everywhere but California. As a result, 
the University has almost, if not altogether, forgotten him and his 
work. When, years after leaving college, I found out how Noah 
Webster had sojourned in Amherst writing his Dictionary; how 
he had, notwithstanding his work, entered into the life of the 
community; how large a part he took in laying the foundations of 
Amherst College, both as an individual and as President of the 
Board of Trustees, it seemed as if I was reading again the forgotten 
chapter in my father's life. Then it was, that the thing I had always 
wished some one would do for my father, I determined to do for 
Noah Webster. 

"I wanted to give the College something beautiful. Sculpture 
appealed to me, and knowing little about it, I turned to my friend, 
W. Frank Purdy, of the Gorham Company. Through him I was 
able to see the work of many men and afterwards to meet face to 
face the few I believed competent to undertake the work. Our 
choice finally rested on W. D. Paddock, of this city. Mr. Paddock 
is a young man of character, who has done many exquisite things. 
The time is ripe for him to do something big, and we have an 
earnest of it in his rough sketch, a photograph of which you have. 

"Faith, not culture, was the keynote of the founders of the 
College. In their accomplishments they proved the faith that 


moves mountains, and as for the future, they confidently looked 
forward to the glorious part Amherst should take in making the 
Kingdoms of this World the Kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. 

"In the figure that typifies the character of Noah Webster, we 
have the suggestion of the great teacher and the good citizen, but 
the dominant note is the note of faith, 

"That he who runs may read, the Memorial is to bear this 

legend : 

'I know whom I have believed and 
am persuaded that He is able to 
keep that which I have committed 
unto Him against that day. 

Noah Webster, his faith.' 

"This was the dying testimony of the great founder. Is it too 
much to hope that these living words, so set forth, will vitalize the 
faith of Amherst men from generation to generation. 

"Mr. Paddock, Mr. Purdy, and myself have put the best that 
is in us into this work. 

"We trust that you will find it worthy of some beautiful spot 
on the campus. The place we three had in mind was at the further 
end of the long avenue of maples leading from the chapel, having 
the church for a background. Failing this, Mr. Paddock would 
like to build it into the long staircase on the north side of Walker 
Hall, with that building for a background. Personally, I earnestly 
hope that you can accord us the spot near the church. 

Yours very truly, 

Richard Billings" 

The memorial was of bronze and granite and cost about $25,000. 
It was erected at the west of the church, as Billings wished, and at 
the formal dedication Billings made the address of presentation and 
Professor Genung responded for the College. 

When the hurricane of 1938 destroyed the college grove, the loca- 
tion was obviously unsuitable, and the Board authorized the moving 
of the memorial to its present location north of the north steps of 
Walker Hall, which had been the second choice of the donor. 

Richard Billings I saw frequently when I was an undergraduate and 
he returned to the College from time to time as a young alumnus. 
We have seen that his father had made generous gifts to the College 
in his lifetime, including the $50,000 endowment of the professorship 
of hygiene and physical education in memory of the elder son, Parmly, 
who died in 1888, four years after his graduation. Richard and his 
mother continued to give generously to the work of Dr. Hitchcock. 

Richard inherited a fortune, managed the estate, was director of rail- 
roads and other corporations, and died in 1931 at the age of fifty-six. 

A college library is constantly outgrowing its quarters. Morgan Li- 
brary had been built in 1853 on a generous scale; then the Board felt 
they had solved the problem and solved it well. In 1881 President 
Seelye had placed an enlargement of the building as the first need of 
the College, and two years later the stacks were added to Morgan, 
giving the building an estimated capacity of 125,000 volumes at a 
time when the college holdings amounted in total to some 43,000 
volumes. Twenty-five years later. President Harris was pointing out 
to the Board in each report that the library had again outgrown its 
quarters, and the crowding became more serious each year thereafter. 
President Meiklejohn was not greatly interested in the college plant, 
but he knew that a library is the heart of a college. Plimpton and his 
colleagues on the Board knew the need because it was called to their 
attention regularly by the president. But the funds were not available. 

A library building is an expensive structure to build; it must be 
fireproof; it is used by the whole college. Amherst had had a succession 
of able men on the library staff, men who had developed revolutionary 
changes in library technique which had become standard practice 
throughout the country: Melvil Dewey, '74, who devised the decimal 
system of classification; Walter Stanley Biscoe, '74, who was now 
senior librarian in the New York State Library School; William Isaac 
Fletcher, honorary '84, who had retired as college librarian in 1911 
after a service of twenty-eight years and had been succeeded by his 
son, Robert Stillman Fletcher, '97. But an able staff and a sympathetic 
Board cannot conjure up a new building, and when a library becomes 
congested from the constant influx of new accessions, its usefulness and 
the efficiency of its staff are diminished. 

Help came from an unexpected quarter. The College owes Converse 
Memorial Library, not to President Meiklejohn, nor to Mr. Plimpton 
and his colleagues on the Board. William R. Mead, '67, was the college 
architect, an uncommonly devoted alumnus, and a frequent visitor 
to the campus. For many years he had been president of the Amherst 
Alumni Association of New York City. He was also chairman of the 
Fine Arts Commission of the College, whose duty it was to make recom- 
mendations to the Board as to the site of proposed buildings. He talked 
with the librarian, studied the needs of the library, and prepared pre- 
liminary sketches of a proposed library building with estimates of cost. 
All this he did on his own responsibility and without authority from 
the Board or cost to the College. Then he went to Dwight Morrow, '95, 
with his ideas. 


Dwight W. Morrow was not then a member of the Amherst Board. 
Why the College had not already made him a trustee I have never 
known, and, I confess, it has puzzled me for he was already one of the 
most outstanding men in the entire alumni body. No alumnus was 
more devoted to the College, no alumnus had, in my judgment, greater 
ability. Born in Huntington, West Virginia, and brought up in Pitts- 
burgh, he had prepared for West Point, but was denied appointment 
by the local member of Congress because his older brother. Jay Mor- 
row, was already a West Point cadet, and the Congressman said, with 
justice, that he could not appoint two brothers to the two vacancies 
at the Military Academy that were at his disposition. Morrow came to 
Amherst at the suggestion of William D. Evans, '85, of the Pittsburgh 
bar. Professor Olds found Morrow the ablest student in mathematics 
he had ever had; Professor Morse fired him with a deep and lifelong 
devotion to history and political science. Morrow graduated in the class 
of '95, studied law at Columbia Law School, and entered the office 
of John W. Simpson, '71, senior partner in the firm of Simpson, Thacher 
& Barnum, later Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett. Simpson was one of 
the leading corporation lawyers of the country and an influential 
trustee of Amherst from 1904 till his death in 1920. Six years after 
Morrow began practice at the New York bar, he was offered a pro- 
fessorship of law at Columbia Law School, but declined at the in- 
sistence of Simpson, who at once made him a partner. In 1914 Morrow 
became a partner of J. P. Morgan & Co. Morrow was one of the 
leading spirits in the organization of the Alumni Council of Amherst 
College in 191 4. It was not until 1916 that he was elected to the Am- 
herst Board of Trustees. He was then forty-three years old. 

It was some months before Morrow's election to the Board that 
Mead called on him to suggest how the College might secure the gift 
of a library building. The story came to me from Mead himself, and 
I remember it almost verbatim. "I have a kinsman who is a money 
grubber in Wall Street," said Mead to Morrow, who was now at 
23 Wall Street. "His brother was a classmate of mine in Amherst, and 
died young, at the age of only thirty-seven. You know Edmund G. 
Converse. Go to him, and ask him to give a memorial library in mem- 
ory of his brother, and tell him I will design it with real affection, for 
Jim was a warm friend of mine in college days." 

Morrow called on Mr. Converse. Not long after, the Amherst Board 
held a special meeting in New York City on January 20, 1 916, to 
hear the letter Morrow had received from Mr. Converse in answer to 
his suggestion. It read as follows: 

[ 140] 

"My dear Mr. Morrow: 

"My older brother, James Blanchard Converse, was a member 
of the class of 1867 of Amherst College. I should like very much to 
have the opportunity of contributing $250,000 for the purpose of 
erecting a new College Library as a memorial to my brother. I 
understand that such a building should be completed, ready for 
opening, at the time of the Fiftieth Reunion of my brother's class, 
which is to be held in June, 191 7. 

"Will you be good enough to convey this suggestion to the 
College authorities. I should prefer that my name be not publicly 
known in the matter at the present time. Could the gift not be 
announced at this time simply as a gift from the brother of a gradu- 
ate of the College? 

Sincerely yours, 

E. C. Converse" 

The Board promptly accepted the offer with grateful appreciation, 
appointed a committee to convey their appreciation to Mr. Converse, 
selected McKim, Mead & White architects, named a Building Com- 
mittee composed of Messrs. Gillett, Allen, James, Plimpton, and the 
president which was to confer with the trustee Committee on Buildings, 
and approved the site in case the Committee decided to build on the 
location then occupied by Hitchcock Hall. If the Committee preferred 
another site, it was to report back to the Board. 

Edmund Cogswell Converse (i 849-1 921) described himself as a 
capitalist. He was educated at the Boston Latin School and never 
went to college. At the time of his generous gift to Amherst, he was 
living in Greenwich, Connecticut, and maintained an office at 14 Wall 
Street. He and Morrow were fellow directors of Bankers Trust Com- 
pany; he was, in addition, a director of a dozen other large corporations 
in banking, insurance, mining, transportation, and manufacturing. 
His older brother, James, had spent a year at Harvard and then trans- 
ferred to Amherst, where he graduated in the class of '67. His business 
life was spent with the National Tube Works Company, and he died 
in Los Angeles in 1883. He and his brother both married into the same 

In May 191 6, four months after the receipt of Mr. Converse's letter, 
the Building Committee presented a report. It had met in Amherst 
with the Fine Arts Commission of the College and the Faculty Com- 
mittee on the new library on April 13, approved the recommendation 
of the Fine Arts Commission that the library be built on the site of 
Hitchcock Hall, and approved the plans drawn by William M. Ken- 


dall of McKim, Mead & White. The Fine Arts Commission at the 
time consisted of Mead, chairman, Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape 
architect, William M. Kendall, architect, and Adolph A. Weinman, 
sculptor. A month later the general contract was let to the Whitney 
Company of New York for $151,419. The detailed administration of 
the contract, as far as the College was concerned, was given to Treasurer 
Kidder, and Arthur James was authorized to act for the Committee 
in any conferences with the architect. 

Before the building was completed, the country had entered World 
War I, workmen became scarce, materials were delayed in arriving at 
the job, and the Committee had more problems than it had anticipated. 
The total cost was just under $250,000, and the library was completed 
in November 191 7 instead of in June. 

The Clyde Fitch Room was incorporated in the library when it was 
built. It had been offered to the College in 191 3 by Mrs. William G, 
Fitch, his mother, in a letter to Plimpton, and promptly accepted by 
the Board. It was, in fact, the study of the famous dramatist in his 
New York home, with Italian ceiling and fireplace, books, autographed 
letters, furniture, and art objects. At the suggestion of Mead, the room 
was installed in the library under the direction of Edward F. Simonds 
and Mr. Strand, the cost was charged to the income of the Clyde 
Fitch Fund and absorbed the income of the fund for the next three 

Clyde Fitch (i 865-1 909) was born in Elmira, New York, graduated 
from Amherst in the class of 1886, and was a playwright and author 
living in New York. In 1902 the College awarded him the honorary 
degree of Master of Arts. 

On completion of the library, the various seminar rooms were 
furnished by the following alumni: 


Charles H. Alien, '69 

$ 1 ,000 

Economics and 

Political Science 

Frank L. Babbott, Jr., '13 



G. P. L. Gail, '16 



G. A. Hall, '82 



W. R. Mead, '67 



A. N. Milliken, '80 



Dwight W. Morrow, '95 


Romance Languages 

C. B. Raymond, '88 


Biblical Literature 

James Turner, '80 



William R. Mead continued to reflect on the problems of the Col- 
lege as an alumnus and as college architect. He went to see his kinsman, 

Edmund C. Converse, who had made the generous gift of the Hbrary, 
and told him that this gift had been, in fact, of serious disservice to 
the College. The library, explained Mead, was an expensive building 
to maintain, and had caused a further annual drain on college funds. 
Converse said he would take the matter under advisement. That winter 
Converse went to California for a vacation, during which he was taken 
ill and died. His will contained one bequest of $50,000 to the College 
for scholarship funds, and another of $200,000 for the "upkeep and 
development of the library." 

Some criticism was developing as to the use of college funds, es- 
pecially in relation to the maintenance of buildings and grounds. In 
1 916 the Board asked Frank W. Stearns to study the business adminis- 
tration of the College and to give his comments to the president of the 
College and to the Board. Stearns had been elected an alumni trustee 
in 1908 and served five years. In 191 6 he was elected to the life Board 
and served till 1932. Stearns (i 856-1 939) had graduated from the 
College in the class of 1878, and had entered the family business of 
R. H. Stearns & Co., Boston merchants. For most of his mature life 
he had been the head of the concern. His only son graduated from the 
College in the class of 1903 and was my classmate. His wife was the 
daughter of William S. Clark, '48. His staff included a number of Am- 
herst alumni. Stearns soon became an active and influential member 
of the Board. For many years he was chairman of the Board's Buildings 
and Grounds Committee. In 1916 he was an excellent choice to study 
and report on the business administration of the College. 

The problem was, however, too much for one man. On June 16, 
191 7, Stearns reported briefly in a letter to Plimpton, the essential 
parts of which follow: 

"I regret that I shall not be able to be present at the trustee meet- 
ing. You may remember that some considerable time ago I was 
appointed a Committee of One to consider with President Meikle- 
john the business administration of the College. I have gone over 
this matter at various times with various members of the Board of 
Trustees and with President Meiklejohn, but am not prepared to 
make any definite report. I would suggest that the Committee be 
discharged, and that a new Committee, say of three, be appointed 
to take the matter up and try to make a report at the November 
meeting of the Trustees." 

The matter was referred by the Board to the Finance Committee, but 
nothing was accomplished either at this time or, in fact, for many 


The business administration of the College was not being well man- 
aged. There can, I am sure, be no question as to this statement of fact. 
The president was interested in the educational development of the 
College along lines which he outlined to the Board in general terms 
and which commanded the assent of the Board in principle. The presi- 
dent had no background of experience in business matters and no 
aptitude in this field. The treasurer of the College, Harry W. Kidder 
of the class of 1 897, had spent one year after graduation at Yale Divin- 
ity School, and the two subsequent years as bookkeeper in the North- 
ampton National Bank. For the past seventeen years he had been 
assistant treasurer and then treasurer of the College. His office was 
staffed with one faithful clerk. Kidder had had, therefore, no ex- 
perience in business administration, and he never acquired any compe- 
tence in this field. It is true that Kidder was overworked during much 
of his term as treasurer, but this was his own fault. Our files contain 
a letter to Kidder from Charles M. Pratt urging him to staff his office 
adequately and pointing out that there was no reason why the treasurer 
of the College should type his own letters. But Kidder took no action 
and the business of the College suffered in consequence. 

The Board of Trustees could not expect to obtain good business ad- 
ministration from a team made up of Meiklejohn and Kidder. And the 
Board itself was not primarily a Board of businessmen. It contained 
some good teachers, some distinguished ministers, some extraordinarily 
gifted lawyers, some financial men of unusual competence in the field 
of investment of college funds, a leader in the field of social work, a 
great journalist, and two men with real experience in business: Plimp- 
ton and Stearns — both trained in the business practice of a generation 
ago. Stearns not only had the problems of his own business to engross 
his attention, but at this time he was becoming deeply interested in the 
public career of Calvin Coolidge, '95, who was lieutenant governor 
of the Commonwealth and about to become governor. The country 
was involved in the first world war, the College was adjusting itself 
as best it could to war conditions. The business administration of the 
College must wait till other problems were out of the way. 

When the war ended and the College slowly returned to its normal 
functions, the Board was faced with the most serious financial problem 
which had faced the College since the Panic of 1873. Operating ex- 
penses were exceeding income to an alarming extent, the College was 
living on its capital and was borrowing money in large amounts. Its 
debts at bank were the largest they had ever been. New endowment 
was desperately needed. 

The College was approaching its one hundredth birthday. The 


Board, in cooperation with the Alumni Council, decided to ask the 
alumni of the College for a gift of $3,000,000 of additional capital as 
a Centennial Gift, and to celebrate the Centennial at Commencement 
in 1 92 1. The new buildings which were needed, even the maintenance 
of the existing plant, and the reorganization of the business side of 
the College, all must wait till the College's financial structure was re- 
paired by the Centennial Gift from the alumni. 


Chapter VII 

With the turn of the century the alumni of the College began to 
play a much more significant part in the development of the College. 
The Society of the Alumni had been formed at Commencement in 
1842, in the darkest days of the history of the College. While resolutions 
were passed expressing "sympathy with the founders and friends of 
Amherst College in the present embarrassed state of its affairs, . . . 
confidence in the wisdom and energy of the Board of Trustees," and 
"pledging earnest co-operation in all appropriate ways for its relief," 
Tyler records that the meeting was "a squally and threatening one" 
and "boding ill quite as much as good in its future history." The 
alumni of that day did much, in fact, to force the resignation of Presi- 
dent Humphrey. But Hitchcock had then turned the tide and saved 
the College, and in the years that followed the alumni became, gradu- 
ally but steadily, an increasing strength to the College and its officers. 
In 1 874, at the request of the Board, the legislature amended the charter 
so that the five members of the Board who had in the past been elected 
by the legislature should in future be elected by the alumni. By the 
middle of Seelye's administration the Board was made up exclusively 
of alumni. From the very early days alumni had been appointed to the 
faculty, and in Seelye's time all the professors were Amherst graduates, 

Bela Bates Edwards of the class of 1824 was the first alumnus to be 
elected to the Board, and served from 1848 till his death four years 
later. He was the first alumnus, as we have seen, to take energetic 
steps for funds for the plant, and his active solicitation of gifts had re- 
sulted in the new library building in 1853. Rufus Bela Kellogg of the 
class of 1 858 was the first trustee elected by the alumni after the change 
in the charter. The class of 1831 was the first class to make a gift to 
the College for endowment by the establishment in 1871 of a class 
scholarship fund in the amount of $1,250. And the same year similar 
class scholarship funds were established by the classes of 1836, 1839, 
and 1 859. These gifts were made on the occasion of the semicentennial 
celebration of the College. 

In the last chapter we saw the growing interest in the buildings and 
grounds taken by the alumni. The class of 1884 was the first class to 
make a gift as a class for the plant, and was followed by the classes of 
1893, 1896, and 1883. In 1906 the Alumni Fund was started, and 
Roberts Walker, '96, was made treasurer. In 1914 the Alumni Council 
was organized by a representative group of alumni, led by the dynamic 
Henry T. Noyes, '94, of Rochester. Frederick Scouller Allis, '93, was 
chosen as executive secretary of the Council, to reside in Amherst and 
devote his entire time to the work of the Council. Allis had been a 
lawyer and banker, and was, as it proved, the ideal man for the post. 
For a quarter of a century he exercised a subtle and profound influence 
on the development of the college endowment and the college plant. 

Generous alumni had made large additions to the college plant be- 
fore the birth of the Alumni Council, as we have already seen. Pratt 
Gymnasium, Pratt Field, Pratt Health Cottage, Morris Pratt Memorial 
Dormitory, the Swimming Pool given by Harold I. Pratt, and the 
Squash Courts given by Mortimer L. SchifF were all gifts by alumni. 
The funds for the Observatory had come one-half from Mrs. D. Willis 
James and one-half from about twenty-one alumni. The funds for the 
Biology-Geology Laboratory had been given one-half by Andrew Car- 
negie, SsOjOGO by D. Willis James, and the remainder by nineteen 
individual alumni and the members of four classes. But all in all, a 
very few of the alumni of the College had been contributors to the 
development of its buildings and grounds. 

The first general participation of the alumni in buildings came, not 
on the campus, but in the properties of the fraternities. The story of the 
activity of the alumni in the purchase and development of the proper- 
ties of the thirteen chapters in Amherst forms an important part of 
the story of the development of the college plant, the significance of 
which has not received adequate attention in the past. For the fra- 
ternity properties were bought and the chapter houses built with funds 
raised from time to time by general solicitation of the alumni of the 
chapters, rather than with funds given by a few wealthy graduates. 
And the alumni who gave first to their college fraternity to provide 
satisfactory housing later gave to the College for the reconstruction of 
the college plant. 

Furthermore, the chapter houses very early set a standard of com- 
fort, convenience, and architectural charm, enhanced by appropriate 
landscaping, which so far surpassed the living facilities provided by the 
College, that the College was forced by fraternity competition to im- 
prove its dormitory accommodations. The College lagged behind, 
however, until the erection of Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory. 

[147 J 

Even today, our two old dormitories, in which we justly take pride 
because of historical and sentimental association and because of their 
commanding location flanking Johnson Chapel, represent a standard 
of safety, comfort, and convenience that was obsolete more than half 
a century ago. 

This is not the place for a history of the Amherst fraternities. But 
some sketch of the background is needed to understand the significant 
development in buildings which came to flower in the period from 
1 910 to 1930. The first of the present fraternities to be established at 
Amherst was Alpha Delta Phi, Founded at Hamilton College in 1832, 
it chartered a chapter at Amherst in 1837. Within the next decade 
two other national fraternities established chapters at Amherst: Psi 
Upsilon in 1841 and Delta Kappa Epsilon in 1846. The following year 
a non-secret society, founded at Williams in 1834 as a protest against 
the secrecy of the fraternities, established the Amherst chapter of 
Delta Upsilon. Until near the end of the Civil War, these three fra- 
ternities and Delta Upsilon were the representatives of Greek letter 
organizations on the Amherst campus. 

As early as 1 834, before any of the present chapters were in existence, 
the Board of Trustees was disturbed by the organization of local Greek 
letter chapters, and passed a formal resolution that "no secret society 
for literary or other purposes be formed or continued amongst the 
students of the College without permission of the faculty, nor shall any 
association for any purpose be allowed amongst the students, whose 
plan, objects, course of proceedings and by-laws have not been sub- 
mitted to, and approved by the faculty; nor shall any pledge to secrecy, 
or any obligation of any description be admitted to interfere with the 
rights of the faculty to have at all times a full knowledge of the doings 
of such associations," 

The climate of the College at the time is indicated by the next vote 
of the Board at the same meeting, "That the use of tobacco within the 
college premises be prohibited, except where special permisson may 
be given by the faculty," It has often been suggested that the rise of 
fraternities on the campuses of our older colleges at this period in their 
history was due to the desire of the students for training in speaking 
and in writing which the colleges did not afford, and it is doubtless 
true that the fraternities did supply their members with practice in 
literary exercises which the College failed to give. But a reading of 
the ancient records suggests that the fraternities may have been a 
by-product of the strict Calvinistic discipline imposed by faculty and 
trustees on exuberant youth. For a study of the faculty records of Am- 
herst indicates that even the young men who were attending college in 















f— 0^ 


preparation for the Christian ministry had their normal share of high 
animal spirits which were not entirely sublimated by chapel services 
at five in the morning. And when the faculty went beyond the inter- 
diction of alcoholic spirits and tobacco, and forbade the enjoyment of 
a cold supper in a dormitory room after a speaking contest, the students 
found it helpful to have a haven of retreat to a fraternity room beyond 
the eye of professor or tutor with proctorial powers. 

In 1842 the faculty made a formal demand for the constitution and 
records of Alpha Delta Phi and Psi Upsilon, but the members refused 
to deliver them. As the two societies included the leading students of 
the College, and as the college enrollment was dwindling rapidly and 
its finances were in desperate shape, the faculty were in no position to 
enforce their demand. The forced withdrawal of the members of the 
two societies might well have meant the closing of the College, which 
almost came about in this era because of another disciplinary action 
taken by faculty and president against the overwhelming weight of 
student opinion. Humphrey resigned, and Hitchcock became president. 
Thereupon Alpha Delta Phi, with commendable sagacity, invited both 
President Hitchcock and his freshman son, Edward ("Old Doc" to 
my generation), to become members of their society. The president 
wisely accepted and was formally initiated into the secrets of the so- 
ciety on November 15, 1845. The problem of secrecy was solved, for 
if the president of the College knew the secrets, what member of the 
faculty could object. 

His son, Edward, records in his reminiscences that his "first tailor- 
made suit was made when I was a freshman in College, a snuff-colored 
broadcloth coat made from a cloak of mother's. And I well remember 
that one of the first wearings of this coat was at my initiation to Alpha 
Delta Phi." 

In the early days the fraternities rented rooms in the dormitories. 
Later they moved down to the village and rented rooms in business 
blocks. "Up to 1840," says Dr. Hitchcock, "the room of Alpha Delta 
Phi was 32 South, the southeast corner 4th storey. Then they moved to 
No. 5 Middle, now North, second storey north entry front corner. 
After that they went down to Adams Block, where they stayed until 
they went into their old Sellen House building, say in the seventies. 
And they left South College because Psi Upsilon Society located them- 
selves directly in front of them in the southwest corner upper storey. 
Just about 1845 I suppose the feeling between Alpha Delta Phi and 
Psi Upsilon ran at its highest point, ... a tremendous undercurrent 
running through college and down town among the ladies, particularly 
the girls of the faculty." 

[ 149] 

The older fraternities continued to maintain their clubrooms in 
business blocks in the village until they were driven out by fires which 
destroyed the buildings in which they were housed. In 1874 Alpha 
Delta Phi purchased the Sellen house on South Pleasant Street, a 
part of the fine property now owned by the chapter, after a destructive 
fire in a downtown business block. Legend says that Dr. Hitchcock, 
then about a quarter of a century out of college, was able to rescue the 
chapter records. Five years later, Psi Upsilon bought a house on South 
Pleasant Street, part of the present property of the chapter, after a 
fire had destroyed their hall with its dome, in the business block on 
the site of the present Jackson & Cutler store. Their records were lost 
in the fire. And in 1881 Delta Kappa Epsilon lost its chapter rooms 
and records in another fire, and bought from Edwin Nelson the large 
estate on Lessey Street, including a frame dwelling house on the site 
of the present chapter house. A year later Delta Upsilon followed, 
with the purchase of a dwelling house on South Pleasant Street located 
approximately where Hitchcock Road now joins South Pleasant Street. 

As the chapters acquired real estate, they found it desirable to in- 
corporate. Alpha Delta Phi was incorporated under Acts of 1870, 
Chapter 224, Sections i-io; Psi Upsilon, under Acts of 1874, Chap- 
ter 375, Section 4; and Delta Kappa Epsilon, under Public Statutes, 
Chapter 115, Sections i, 2, and 3, and Chapter 106, Sections 18, 20, 
and 2 1 . The purposes of the corporation in the case of Delta Kappa 
Epsilon, for example, are "literary, social and educational, and also 
to establish and maintain a place or places for dormitory accommoda- 
tions, reading rooms and library of said fraternity and for its social 

Tradition in Amherst says that the Alpha Delt purchase of the Sellen 
house provided the chapter with the first fraternity-owned building 
with dormitory facilities for its members in any college in the country. 
In any event, within a period of a dozen years four chapters in Amherst 
were providing bedrooms and studies as well as public rooms for their 
upperclass members. In 1886, five years after the purchase of the 
property on Lessey Street, the Dekes built a fine new chapter house of 
frame construction next to the dwelling house they had acquired, and 
connected the two buildings with a covered porch. At this time the 
chapter borrowed Si 0,000 from the Amherst Savings Bank, which was 
finally paid off in igoo. Three years later, in 1 889-1 890, the Alpha 
Delt chapter retained the well-known New York architects, Carrere 
and Hastings, to design and supervise the construction of their "new 
house." This was an imposing structure of brick and stone which set 
a new standard of costliness in Amherst. I am told by the present officers 

that the mortgage debt incurred by the chapter for this house was not 
finally liquidated by alumni gifts until 191 2. And Psi Upsilon, which 
had paid about $10,000 for its original house, added the Davis property 
in 1892 at a cost of $10,000 more. Its debt of some $20,000 was finally 
paid off by gifts from alumni members in 1906. 

By 1900 seven additional chapters had been organized at Amherst, 
and each had a house of its own : 

Chi Psi, chartered in 1864, acquired a house on Northampton Road; 

Chi Phi, 1873, a house on College Street; 

Beta Theta Pi, 1883, a house on Boltwood Avenue; 

Theta Delta Chi, 1885, a house on Northampton Road; 

Phi Delta Theta, 1888, a house on Boltwood Avenue; 

Phi Gamma Delta, 1893, ^ house on Lessey Street; 

Phi Kappa Psi, 1895, a house on Amity Street. 

The fraternities were firmly established, they owned property, and 
paid taxes. And what was more significant, they provided good living 
accommodations for students in the three upper classes, which the 
College was entirely unable to house in its two ancient dormitories. 
In my undergraduate days the living quarters in the chapter houses 
were far superior in comfort and convenience to the facilities provided 
by the College, and the annual cost was less. There was no luxury, 
but there was comfort and convenience. The "new" Alpha Delt house 
was an imposing structure, and was considered by many the finest 
fraternity house in the country. The other houses were dwelling houses 
adapted for fraternity use, though some had more rooms than others. 
The fraternities had come a long way from the days when they had 
allayed the suspicions of the faculty by initiating President Hitchcock 
into Alpha Delt. How far they had come is indicated by the action of 
the Board of Trustees of the College in June 1891, when the Board 
adjourned its Commencement meeting to attend the literary exercises 
at Psi Upsilon on the occasion of its semicentennial. Six years later, 
in June 1897, the Board again adjourned to attend a similar function 
at Delta Kappa Epsilon. 

The ownership of real estate brought with it responsibility. Taxes 
must be met, repairs made from time to time, heating and lighting 
provided, and, most important of all, the mortgages must be paid 
down. These responsibilities made it necessary for the alumni to return 
to the College periodically to elect alumni officers, to assume general 
oversight of the property, to continue the solicitation of gifts to meet 
the mortgage indebtedness, and to see that the undergraduate standards 
of housekeeping were maintained at a satisfactory minimum. The fra- 


ternities were strengthened by the continuing interest and supervision 
of alumni, and the College gained in alumni participation. An in- 
teresting example of alumni overseeing of the finances and business 
affairs of a chapter is furnished by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon, 
where the office of treasurer of the corporation was held for some forty 
years by G. Henry Whitcomb, '64, long a powerful trustee of the 
College, and his son, Ernest M, Whitcomb, '04, president of the First 
National Bank of Amherst. Today the Psi Upsilon treasurer is Oliver B. 
Merrill, Jr., '25, of the New York bar. Fraternity rivalry on the under- 
graduate level tended to keep all the chapters in a relatively healthy 

The next advance, which resulted in the thirteen well-designed, 
modern chapter houses which are an ornament to the College today, 
was initiated by the Gamma Chapter of Psi Upsilon. It was due in 
large part to the enthusiasm and persuasive persistence of a single 
alumnus of the chapter, William Seymour Tyler of the class of 1 895. 
Tyler was the son of Mason W. Tyler of the class of 1862, alumni 
trustee of the College from 1901 till 1907. His uncle was John Mason 
Tyler, '73, affectionately known as "Tip," who was professor of bi- 
ology at the College and a member of the faculty from 1879 till 191 7. 
His grandfather was Professor William Seymour Tyler of the class of 
1830, who had joined the Amherst faculty as a tutor in 1832 and 
retired as professor of Greek sixty-one years later, in 1893. The grand- 
father, known to generation after generation of students as "Old Ty," 
had taught almost every alumnus of the College and had written the 
monumental history of the College at the time of its semicentennial. 
He had received two honorary degrees from Harvard and one from 
his alma mater, had been acting president of the College on occasion, 
and had been persistent in raising money for the College throughout 
his long life. The grandson, Tyler of '95, has been a practicing lawyer 
in New York City for most of his active life. Two years after his gradua- 
tion from college he began to talk of a new house for Psi Upsilon and 
persuaded the alumni corporation of the chapter to start a building 
fund, even though the chapter still had a substantial mortgage debt 
on its present property. 

On November 20, 1908, two years after the mortgage had been 
paid off, Tyler persuaded the alumni corporation to appoint a Building 
Committee to study the problem of a new house. The Committee con- 
sisted of Herbert L. Bridgman, '66, the distinguished journalist, Wil- 
liam C. Atwater, '84, Arthur H. Dakin, '84, Thomas J. Hammond, '00, 
and Tyler, who became secretary and treasurer of the Committee. 
Later, Eugene S. Wilson, '02, and Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, were 

Old Delta Kappa Epsilon House (1880'sj 


Present Delta Kappa Epsilon House 

Psi Upsilon House (1880'si 

Psi Upsilon House today 

added to the Committee. The corporation appropriated $250 to the 
Committee for expenses and turned over to them a balance of some 
$2,915 which remained after the payment of the mortgage two years 
before. In June igio, the Building Committee was authorized to so- 
licit subscriptions and proceed with the building as soon as adequate 
gifts had been secured. The Committee consulted McKim, Mead & 
White, the architects of the College, and Burt L. Fenner of the firm 
made a trip to Amherst to study the problem. At his suggestion the 
Committee then retained Allen Cox, of the firm of Putnam and Cox 
of Boston, to draw plans for a chapter house. Cox had been born and 
brought up in Holyoke and he knew the history and traditions of the 
Connecticut Valley intimately. He proved to be the ideal choice for 
the first of the new fraternity houses at Amherst. 

On December 16, 191 1, the cornerstone was laid, with appropriate 
ceremony, and on October 16, 191 2, the new house was dedicated. 
The contractor was the Casper Ranger Company of Holyoke. The 
total cost, including grading, decorations, and furniture, but not in- 
cluding the cost of the land, was about $74,000. A whirlwind campaign 
had been conducted for gifts. There were two hundred seventeen 
separate gifts from a total alumni group of four hundred sixty-five. 
There was one gift of $5,000, one of $4,000, and one of $3,000. Total 
gifts amounted to about $50,000. The corporation had authorized a 
mortgage of not over $30,000, and the Committee arranged for a 
mortgage of $22,700 with the Amherst Savings Bank. This was finally 
paid ofTin 1920. 

The fraternity had originally planned to allow the old house to re- 
main on the property during the life of the mortgage in order that the 
revenue from room rentals of the old house might meet the mortgage 
interest. But when a group of alumni pledged $600 per annum for six 
years to meet the mortgage interest, it was decided to tear down the 
old house at once. In the next thirty years twelve other chapters built 
new houses or radically remodeled their existing structures. All are 
well-designed and well-built. Five were designed by Allen Cox, whose 
design for the Psi Upsilon house had won such universal approval. 
Cox and the Psi Upsilon Building Committee had set a new standard 
which the others must emulate if they were to remain in competition. 
Their work, therefore, had a profound influence on the entire fraternity 
plant of the College, Ultimately, the alumni of each of the chapters 
were forced to consider the problem of an adequate, modern structure. 
Thus Tyler of '95 has an enduring monument. 

In 191 2 the College decided it needed the site on the corner of Bolt- 
wood Avenue and College Street, just north of Hitchcock Hall, for 


possible expansion. The property belonged to Phi Delta Theta, which 
had bought the Houghton house many years before and was occupying 
it as its chapter house. The Board authorized the Buildings and 
Grounds Committee, of which Frank W. Stearns was then chairman, 
to purchase the property at not over $25,000. This was the first oc- 
casion when the interests of the College and the interests of a fraternity 
had come into competition in the field of real estate. This was the 
only fraternity property within the area which the College was likely 
to wish in time to control — that is to say, the land bounded by College 
Street on the north, by South Pleasant Street on the west, and by 
the two railroads on east and south. The negotiations were handled by 
Stearns, alumnus of another chapter, for the College and by Professor 
Frederic B. Loomis, '96, one of the most respected members of the 
faculty, for the fraternity. 

At the next meeting Stearns reported that the College had purchased 
the property for $22,500 in cash, plus a site suitable for a fraternity 
house for the chapter, and had leased the property back to the chapter 
for a brief period at a rental of $700 a year. The College then deeded 
to the fraternity a plot of land on the corner of Northampton Road 
and Woodside Avenue, just west of College Hall. The fraternity used 
the money it had received from the sale of its former property for the 
erection of a new chapter house, retaining Allen Cox as architect. 
The house cost something more than the cash in hand, and a mortgage 
was placed on the property for the balance. The mortgage now held 
by the College has been gradually reduced to its present figure of about 
$4,500. The appraised value of the house in 1938 was $60,000. 
The former Houghton house which the College acquired was torn 

The fraternity then made a gift to the College of $500, with the sug- 
gestion that the income be used annually toward founding a scholar- 
ship of $50 to pay the tuition of a student from the College at the 
Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, the balance necessary 
to be provided each year by the chapter. The gift was gratefully ac- 
cepted by the Board. 

In 1 91 4 Delta Kappa Epsilon built its present fine Georgian mansion 
at the top of Deke Hill. The former "new" house was already some 
twenty-seven years old, but was still in reasonably good condition, in 
spite of the wear and tear of use by successive generations of under- 
graduates. The earlier house, remodeled from a dwelling house be- 
longing originally to Edwin Nelson, was still livable, although it 
showed its age. But the example of Psi U was contagious. For years 
there had been the keenest rivalry between the undergraduates in 


Psi U and those in Deke, and it appeared to the undergraduate chapter 
that it would be intolerable if their rival could boast of a beautiful 
new house which made the Deke quarters appear even more dingy 
than they were. The only alternative was a new house for the Deke 

A fund was raised by a graduate committee headed by Henry P. 
Kendall, '99; he and I were appointed a Building Committee of two. 
There were three hundred eighty-nine contributors. The largest indi- 
vidual gift was $7,600, there were three gifts between $2,000 and 
$3,000, the rest were smaller. Kendall and I consulted William R. 
Mead, the college architect, who was a graduate member of the chapter. 
He recommended Lionel Moses, H, an associate in the ofBce of McKim, 
Mead & White, and we engaged him as architect. Bids were taken 
and a contract awarded to the H. Wales Lines Company of Meriden, 
Connecticut. The estimate was more than the fund we had in hand 
or were likely to have. Kendall and I considered whether we should 
cut down on the size of the house or on the quality embodied in the 
specifications, and decided against either course. We built the house 
as well as it could be built, and borrowed from the Amherst Savings 
Bank. The total cost, including construction, landscaping, furniture 
and fixtures, architect's and engineer's fees, and miscellaneous ex- 
penses, amounted to about $58,000. 

The Deke House is in fact the most solidly built and the most nearly 
fireproof house in Amherst. The walls are of brick and stone, the floors 
of steel and concrete. We even installed a concrete slab above the third 
floor ceiling and below the roof. The interior walls are of heavy con- 

George A. Plimpton, president of the Amherst Board, had acquired 
some years earlier in London the fireplace from the house once oc- 
cupied by Sir Isaac Newton, and later by Fanny Burney and her 
father. This he presented to the chapter and it was incorporated in the 
library. A quarter of a century later Plimpton furnished the library 
with antique paneling from the ancient colleges of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge, which he acquired on a trip to England. Edward S. Whitney, 
'90, presented a fund to the chapter for the acquisition of a good 
reference library, and the fund has proved adequate to increase the 
collection of books from year to year. Cornelius J. Sullivan, '92, and 
Mrs. Sullivan gave the chapter a fine Italian marble mantel for the 
living room and a Steinway grand piano. Stanley L. Wolff, '08, pre- 
sented the granite steps at the entrance to the grounds. And Edward S. 
Whitney, '90, added to his former gift so that the chapter was able to 
adapt a small room off the paneled library for use as a listening room 


for musical records. His gift included the excellent instrument and a 
large collection of classical records. 

In the paneled library we set a number of tablets, made from the 
antique wood of the English colleges, to be used for memorial tablets. 
No memorial tablet is incorporated unless the name proposed passes 
the scrutiny of a committee which includes the president of the alumni 
corporation and the president of the College, irrespective of his fra- 
ternity affiliation. Tablets have been installed to Simpson, '71, Plimp- 
ton, '76, Mead, '67, and Sullivan, '92, all of whom maintained a con- 
tinuing interest in the affairs of the chapter throughout their lives. 
There are also tablets to Professors Cowles, Morse, and Thompson, 
all of whom had given liberally of their time and interest to the 
affairs of the undergraduate chapter. 

When the house was completed, we had a mortgage of $26,000 on 
the property, as our pledges were being paid slowly. Kendall then said 
that, in view of the fact that he had done the major part of the work 
in raising the building fund, he thought I should undertake the task 
of raising funds to reduce and finally pay off the mortgage. This I 
undertook to do. The mortgage was paid and discharged in 1922. 

In 1948 Kendall, who then had two sons in the active chapter, pro- 
posed that we add a one-story addition to the house on the north. His 
program was approved by the alumni corporation when it was an- 
nounced that he himself would make the initial gift of $5,000 toward 
the project. The cost of the addition was approximately $15,000. It 
was financed by a temporary bank loan without mortgage, and is now 
being paid off by contributions from the alumni body of the chapter. 

Recently I had the pleasure of being present at the Chi Psi Lodge 
when it burned its mortgage, which had amounted originally to 
$40,000. One by one, the other chapters built new houses or remodeled 
their existing houses. 

The most expensive of the present houses is probably the Alpha Delta 
Phi House built in 1928. The campaign for funds was begun in 1927, 
at the height of the Coolidge era of prosperity. Maurice L. Farrell, '01, 
was chairman of the Finance Committee, and George D. Pratt, '93, 
chairman of the Building Committee; the two committees included 
some twenty-five or more of the chapter's alumni. There were two 
hundred thirty-nine contributors. The total amount raised was 
$199,093. There were two gifts of $25,000 each, and the smallest gift 
was for $ I . 

The architect was Maurice B. Biscoe of the Boston firm of Andrews, 
Jones, Biscoe & Wetmore, and the contractor was the H. Wales Lines 
Company of Meriden, Connecticut. The cost of the building was 

Si44jH9' th^ ^^^^ °f th^ furniture $21,959, making a total cost of 
$166,109. The building was opened in September 1929. When the 
New York stock market crashed a few weeks later, the building was 
paid for, the chapter had, in addition, an endowment fund of nearly 
$33,000, and the outstanding and unpaid subscriptions amounted to 
less than $500. 

In chronological order the new houses came into being as follows: 



Psi Upsilon 1 
Phi Delta Theta j 

Allen Cox, Boston 


Delta Kappa Epsilon 

Lionel Moses, New York 


Delta Upsilon 1 
Beta Theta Pi J 

Allen Cox 


Chi Phi 

Allen Cox 


Theta Delta Chi 

Allen Cox 


Phi Kappa Psi 

Allen Cox 


Chi Psi 

H. Herbert Wheeler, New York 


Alpha Delta Phi 

Maurice B. Biscoe, Boston 


Phi Gamma Delta 

Putnam & Stewart, Northampton 


Delta Tau Delta 

J. D. Leland, Boston 


Theta Xi 

C. H. Sherwood, New York 

At present the College holds mortgages on four houses for a total 
amount of about $38,000. Mortgages held outside the College on two 
houses amount in total to about $52,000. 

The thirteen fraternity properties are assessed by the town for tax 
purposes for about $735,000. The largest assessment is that of Alpha 
Delta Phi for $85,700, the smallest that of Theta Xi for $24,000. In 
1938 the houses were appraised for insurance purposes. The total of 
the appraised value in 1938 was over $1,000,000. Fraternity Business 
Management, under the guidance of Arthur Davenport, '32, keeps a 
watchful eye on the business management and housekeeping of the 
thirteen chapters, including their purchasing, budgeting, and jani- 
torial service. The accounts from members are collected and accounts 
payable paid. The College charges a uniform amount for room rent, 
whether a student lives in a college dormitory or in a fraternity house, 
and collects the charge on the college term bill. It then remits to the 
fraternity treasurer the collections for room rent for the members living 
in the chapter house. During World War II the College took over all 
the chapter houses on lease, and they were used either for civilian 
students or for members of the armed services, or were vacant. The 
finances were handled on a pool basis, so that the fraternities shared 
equally whether their houses were used for one purpose or another 


or were vacant. At the close of the war the operations of the pool were 
closed out, and the houses returned to their respective chapters. The 
title to one house is held by the College, and the house is leased to the 
chapter. Financial considerations may lead in time to similar action 
on the part of some other houses. 

It is sometimes said that the Amherst chapter houses are too luxuri- 
ous. I do not agree. It is, of course, true that some of the houses are 
much more expensive than others. But the general average of accom- 
modations provided for the undergraduate members is, in my judg- 
ment, no higher than that provided by the College in its newest 
dormitories, and no higher than that afforded in our older preparatory 
schools, or in the House Plan at Harvard or the College Plan at Yale. 
That the standard of living for college students at Amherst is much 
higher than it was in my student days is obvious, but so it is in other 
New England colleges, and so it is outside the colleges. Fireproof or 
fire-resisting buildings are now standard practice for students, and 
ought to be. And the provision of appropriate and dignified surround- 
ings for the normal social life of undergraduates is, in my judgment, a 
proper function of an undergraduate college. 

Libraries are now being developed in many of the chapter houses. 
I have already mentioned the beautiful library in the Deke House, 
given by Plimpton and Whitney. The Phi Gamma Delta House has 
an excellent library, given by a number of its graduates in memory of 
Calvin Coolidge, '95, who was a member of the chapter as a student. 
The Beta Theta Pi House has a library of rare charm, the gift of Frank 
M. Lay, '93, in memory of his son, Edward Poole Lay, '22. And other 
houses have developed libraries for their members from gifts of gen- 
erous alumni. 

The question of whether fraternities have a proper place in our col- 
leges is now under discussion by students, faculty, trustees, alumni, 
and the public. Questions of democracy, discrimination, social con- 
duct, scholarship, and other matters are brought into the debate. Here 
we are concerned only with the chapter houses as a part, and a very 
valuable part, of the college plant for housing its students. Amherst is 
and always has been a residential college, in which most of the students 
are living away from home and have to be provided with living quar- 
ters. These quarters ought to be comfortable, convenient, fireproof or 
fire-resisting, and to have good sanitary facilities. If, in addition, they 
can have charm of design, beauty of landscaping, and appropriate 
facilities for the social life of the young men, such as are provided by 
the Amherst chapter houses, we can leave to the appropriate authorities 
the debate on the social implications of their operation as fraternity 

houses or as college houses. In providing the thirteen chapter houses, 
the Amherst alumni have rendered a service of prime importance to 
their college, far beyond the financial cost of the properties themselves. 

We have seen that the alumni of Amherst in 191 4 created the Alumni 
Council as a channel through which to organize and develop their 
effective relations with the College. At the close of World War I, the 
College faced a most difficult financial problem. The inflation which 
had taken place had increased operating costs without a corresponding 
increase in income. The college budget was dangerously out of balance, 
and the College had borrowed large sums from a New York bank to 
meet its deficits. Maintenance of the college plant had been starved 
and must be restored. New endowment was essential if the College 
was to continue to maintain its standards of performance. The problem 
was too big to be met by a few large gifts stimulated by Plimpton. At 
this point the Board called on the officers of the Alumni Council for 

In the autumn of 191 9 a series of informal meetings was held in 
New York under the auspices of Dwight W. Morrow, '95, who had 
been elected to the Board in 191 6, but who had been absent in Europe 
during most of 191 8 as a representative on the American Shipping 
Mission. Among the guests were Trustees Plimpton and James, and 
Mr. Allis, secretary of the Alumni Council, together with a small 
group of alumni. It was clear to all of us that the College must make a 
general appeal to its alumni for a very large fund, and that it might 
well be called a Centennial Gift, in view of the fact that Amherst would 
celebrate its centennial in 1 92 1 . Morrow was the only man who had 
the ability, the prestige among the alumni, and the devotion to under- 
take the task of heading the program. He agreed to accept the chair- 
manship of an executive committee, provided Eugene S. Wilson, '02, 
and I would become vice-chairmen and would do the detailed work 
of organization. Morrow had become a partner in J. P. Morgan & Co. 
in 1 914. Wilson was a vice-president of the American Telephone and 
Telegraph Co., with an office in New York. And I had returned to a 
business post in Boston a few months before, after my war service in 
Washington. Arthur Curtiss James agreed to accept the chairmanship 
of a general Committee of One Hundred, provided Morrow, Wilson, 
and I carried the detailed work of the Executive Committee. Harold I. 
Pratt, '00, accepted the treasurership of the fund to be raised. The other 
members of the Executive Committee were George A. Plimpton, '76, 
William C. Breed, '93, an alumni trustee, Lucius R. Eastman, '95, 
Herbert L. Pratt, '95, Claude M. Fuess, '05, and Bruce Barton, '07. 

As a result of our informal meetings in New York, plans were made 


to hold two meetings in Amherst — one in November 191 9 and one 
in November 1 920 — to which alumni from all parts of the country 
would be invited to survey the College and its needs at first hand. 
At the meeting in Amherst in 1920, it was decided that speakers should 
present the needs of the College to the alumni who had gathered for 
the conference. Alfred E. Stearns, '94, headmaster of Phillips Academy 
at Andover, was asked to speak on faculty salaries, Wilson on athletic 
facilities; I undertook to speak on the subject of "Repairs, Deprecia- 
tion, and Upkeep" — a most unpromising title. 

I realized that I had no particular qualifications to speak on this 
subject, but I had accepted a vice-chairmanship of the Executive 
Committee at Morrow's request and my colleagues were in agreement 
that this subject was my first important assignment. I was confronted 
with the immediate problem of familiarizing myself with the subject 
as thoroughly as possible and preparing a brief address which I must 
deliver to the assembled brethren, which would then be put in print 
with the other addresses and mailed to all the alumni of the College. 
On my return to Boston, I came to the conclusion that I needed expert 
advice. I telephoned my friend Morton Tuttle, a trustee of Dartmouth 
and one of the most competent large builders in the Boston area. He 
recommended to me Homer Eaton Keyes. Keyes had been a member 
of the Dartmouth faculty in the arts, and since 191 3 the business di- 
rector of Dartmouth College. He was an ideal choice for the problem. 

Keyes met me in Amherst, and together we made a comprehensive 
initial survey of the plant of the College. We visited every building 
and inspected it from cellar to attic. We noted the type of construction, 
the lack of maintenance which was everywhere evident, the housekeep- 
ing. We conferred with the treasurer, Harry W. Kidder, '97, and learned 
of the staff at his disposal in the care of the plant, his methods of buy- 
ing, and the general organization or lack of it in the management of 
the college plant. It was an illuminating experience. 

At the large meeting of alumni in November I presented my report 
in summary form and with considerable restraint. It was subsequently 
printed with the other addresses and mailed to the entire body of the 
alumni. During the next year I was fully engaged in the problems of 
organization for the Centennial Gift and in a conference in Washington 
to which I had been appointed by President Wilson and which took 
most of the winter. I gave no further thought to the college plant. We 
were engaged in the task of attempting to raise a fund of $3,000,000 
for the College. The use to be made of it would be decided by the 

The physical needs of the College were listed as follows, though in 

First and second Alpha Delta Phi Houses (1878 and 1923) 

The present Alpha Delta Phi House 


submitting the list to the Board for approval, we pointed out that the 
figures were not based on accurate estimates, and that the total needs 
far exceeded the $3,000,000 which we hoped to raise. 

Commons: Construction $300,000 

Endowment 250,000 $550,000 

Pratt Gymnasium: Cage, track, jumping pits, and 

enlarged floor space 250,000 

Hitchcock Field completion 160,000 

Repairs immediately necessary, general upkeep 
and restoration: Pratt Cottage, Johnson Chapel, 
College Hall, North Dormitory, Octagon, etc. 300,000 

Church remodeling and enlarging 150,000 

Enlarged music building, art building and theater No figure 

These proposals amounted in total to over a million and a half dol- 
lars. A figure of two million and a half was proposed for instruction, 
pensions, scholarships, books, and clerical assistance, and Si 00,000 for 
the endowment of athletics. 

The story of the Centennial Gift and the organization work which 
resulted in securing $3,013,115.56 in pledges has been told elsewhere. 
But because it was the first time in the history of the College that the 
alumni as a whole were called on for financial support to provide 
additional capital, and because its success enabled the College to pro- 
vide the physical facilities necessary for its work, it is appropriate to 
recall the essential elements in the story. 

Our Executive Committee in charge of the organization met at least 
once a month and sometimes oftener as the dinner guests of Dwight 
Morrow. Although he was carrying a heavy load of responsibility as 
a Morgan partner and was a director of numerous corporations, he 
gave us all the time we asked for. And in addition to the dinner meet- 
ings, he was always available for conference at 23 Wall Street at the 
close of the day's business. Sometimes the dinner meetings were at- 
tended only by the members of the Executive Committee, sometimes, 
at the suggestion of the two vice-chairmen, invitations would be sent 
to a number of prominent alumni. The dinners were held at one of 
Morrow's New York clubs, and if we had guests, Herbert Pratt would 
supply the cocktails from his private stock. One meeting was held 
aboard the Aloha, the beautiful yacht of Arthur Curtiss James, who 
issued the invitations at our suggestion, and we cruised down the 
harbor with a group of the older alumni whom we deemed important 
for the success of our enterprise. A small group of young alumni, who 
had been members of the Glee Club as undergraduates, was organized 


and led in the singing of college songs at some of the occasions. But 
no money was ever asked for or offered. 

We opened a small office in New York and secured the full-time 
services of Frederick Pitkin Smith, '08, of the New York bar, as execu- 
tive secretary. He traveled across the country, visiting every important 
center of Amherst alumni and holding local meetings. As the president 
of the College had asked the Board for a year's leave of absence for 
travel in Europe, we asked two of the senior members of the faculty, 
Professor Olds and "Tip" Tyler, to make extended trips to the alumni 
during the winter, and they cheerfully accepted the assignment in 
addition to their regular work. Local committees were organized in 
every center. Fred Allis, secretary of the Alumni Council, was a tower 
of strength and devoted the major part of his time to the effort. 

After a full year of intensive organization, we scheduled a second 
large meeting of the alumni in Amherst in November 1920, on the 
week end of the traditional football game with Williams. We had 
scheduled a monster rally in College Hall for Saturday night after 
the game, with Morrow as the principal speaker. The Williams team 
was the favorite, and Wilson and I secured permission from the Am- 
herst coach to talk to the Amherst team between the halves. The team 
played magnificently and won the game. Our audience in College 
Hall was full of enthusiasm, but Morrow had not arrived in town. 

We arranged for a series of inspirational talks by prominent alumni 
who were present to hold the audience till Morrow came. The day 
before had been a "Black Friday" on the New York Stock Exchange, 
and Morrow had been up all night with a group of bankers and lawyers 
in a successful attempt to save the general situation. He arrived and, 
without notes, gave the most eloquent speech I ever heard him de- 

The intensive solicitation of gifts began on November 29, and was 
concluded on December 8, 1920. During this period about $2,500,000 
was pledged. District headquarters were then promptly closed, and for 
the remainder of the college year the work of seeing the remaining 
alumni was directed by Fred Allis from Amherst. The College had 
4,913 alumni living, including both graduates and non-graduates. Of 
this number, 4,044 were subscribers to the fund. Every undergraduate 
was a subscriber, and there were one hundred thirty-eight subscrip- 
tions from persons not alumni. It was a magnificent response from 
Amherst's sons and from friends of the College. 

Another committee of trustees, faculty, and alumni was in charge 
of preparations for the celebration of the Centennial at Commencement 
in 1 92 1. In the winter of 1920 this committee asked me to secure for 

them a competent man, experienced in construction, who could be 
retained on a temporary basis, to assist the committee. Again I con- 
sulted my friend Morton Tuttle and told him our needs. He recom- 
mended a young graduate of Brown University, Henry B. Thacher, 
who had been on the staff of Aberthaw Construction Company of 
Boston and was now chief engineer of mills in Saco, Maine. I talked 
with Thacher, who seemed to me ideally suited for the task, made ap- 
propriate arrangements with him, and when he secured temporary 
leave of absence from the Saco mills, I sent him up to Amherst to 
assist the committee in charge of the Centennial. 

In June 1921, Amherst College celebrated its one hundredth birthday 
with appropriate ceremony in the presence of a large gathering of the 
alumni. Addresses were delivered covering various aspects of the history 
of the College. The alumni were proud of the success of their efforts 
to provide the College with the endowment it sorely needed, and at 
the Alumni Luncheon the results of the campaign were announced. 
Everyone knew that the College was facing a most serious internal 
problem which was rapidly approaching a climax. It was a problem 
for the Board and one in which the alumni could not be helpful. But 
the financial problem of the College, which had loomed so large a year 
ago, had been met by the concerted effort of the alumni of the College, 
and the College expressed its gratitude to its sons. The men of Amherst 
could look back with pride on its history of a century. It could recall 
with affection the great teachers who had made their contributions to 
the enterprise of education, begun with such high hopes and such slen- 
der means a century before. The speakers referred to the work of 
alumni now gone, in the fields of teaching, law, medicine, the ministry, 
and government. 

A century had ended in the life of the College, and a new one was 
beginning. There would be new teachers and new trustees. The College 
now had the funds to build some of the new buildings needed and to 
improve the old ones. The alumni, who fifty years before, on the oc- 
casion of the semicentennial, had presented the College with a few 
scholarship funds from a few of the classes, and who had been building 
chapter houses during the preceding decade, were now organized in 
an Alumni Council through which their efforts could be channeled. 
The College had called on them for help, and they had met the chal- 
lenge with a gift of $3,000,000. 


Chapter VIII 

The College opened its second century with six new trustees on a 
Board which numbered only sixteen members in addition to the presi- 
dent of the College. On May 28, 1921, Calvin Coolidge, '95, Vice 
President of the United States, was elected a life member to fill the 
vacancy caused by the death of John W. Simpson a year earlier. At 
the Commencement meeting, a month later, George D. Pratt, '93, 
was elected a life member to succeed his brother, Charles M. Pratt, 
'79, who resigned for reasons of health after a service of twenty-four 
years. At the same meeting Arthur C. Rounds, '87, who had served 
as alumni trustee, was elected a life member to succeed Williston 
Walker, '83, provost of Yale University, who had served a quarter of 
a century and who died a few months later. And at the Alumni 
Luncheon the announcement was made that I had been elected an 
alumni trustee for a term of five years. Four new members in one 
year was of course an unusual turnover. In addition, Frederick J. E. 
Woodbridge, '89, of the faculty of Columbia University, had been 
elected an alumni trustee a year before to succeed Robert A. Woods, 
'86, who had finished his term of five years. In 191 9, Edward T. Esty, 
'97, had succeeded Talcott Williams, '73, as alumni trustee. 

George Pratt had spent six years as assistant to the president of the 
Long Island Railroad and had then devoted his time to civic interests. 
He was active in the conservation movement, a trustee of the Metro- 
politan Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the 
Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences. For the past six years he had 
been New York State Conservation Commissioner. 

Rounds was a member of the Hughes law firm in New York City, 
and a professor of law at New York University. Woodbridge had been 
a professor of philosophy at Columbia since 1902, and dean of the 
Faculties of Political Science, Philosophy, and Pure Science since 191 2. 
No Amherst graduate had a higher standing in the field of university 
education. Esty was a member of the bar of Worcester, Massachusetts, 
and had been born and educated in Amherst. His father, William Cole 

The Observatuiv 

1 he Indoor Athletic Field 

Esty, had graduated from the College in the class of 1 860 and had 
been a member of the Amherst faculty from 1862 until 1905. His 
brother, Thomas Gushing Esty, '93, was now professor of mathematics, 
and after serving as acting dean for the year 1920-21 was made dean 
of the College in 1922. Another brother, Robert P. Esty, '97, was an 
active and devoted alumnus in Philadelphia. 

The Amherst Board included at the opening of the second century 
a number of trustees of long service, headed by Plimpton, '76, who had 
joined the Board in 1890 and was now its president. In addition, there 
were Governor Charles H. Allen, '69, who joined the Board in 1898; Ar- 
thur Curtiss James, '89, who had served since 1904; Reverend Corne- 
lius H. Patton, '83, elected in 1905; Frank W. Stearns, '78, elected in 
1908; Professor Arthur L. Gillett, '80, the son of a trustee, elected in 1910; 
Dwight W. Morrow, '95, elected in 1916; Chief Justice Arthur P. Rugg, 
'83, elected in 191 7; and William C. Breed, '93, elected in 191 8. 
Reverend John Timothy Stone, '91, was serving the last year of his 
term as alumni trustee. It was an uncommonly strong and well bal- 
anced Board. The oldest member, Governor Allen, was seventy-three, 
and I was much the youngest at thirty-eight. 

I had not expected to be elected, and had not been present at the 
Alumni Luncheon when the results of the election were announced. 
I received the news in a letter from Fred Allis, secretary of the Council. 
Sometime later, Frank Stearns telephoned me and asked me to call. 
He said that he planned to call a meeting of the Buildings and Grounds 
Committee, of which he had been chairman for a number of years, 
and ask the Committee to elect me as chairman to succeed him. I 
protested that I had just joined the Board and was unfamiliar with its 
procedures, but he insisted that he had done his work, and added 
that he had never learned to read a blueprint. I then urged Stearns to 
propose George Pratt as chairman, on the ground that Pratt was my 
senior by a decade, that he would have ample time at his disposal at 
the close of his term as Commissioner of Conservation of New York, 
and that his family had always shown a great interest in the develop- 
ment of the Amherst plant and had given liberally to the building 
program. I said that I would be willing to accept the post of vice- 
chairman and would do as much work as Pratt wished me to undertake. 
Stearns agreed, called a meeting of the Committee, and Pratt and 
I were elected chairman and vice-chairman. For the next eleven years 
we worked together as the spearhead of the Committee. Other trustees 
were members of the Committee but the leadership devolved on Pratt 
and me. Sometimes he insisted on my taking the chairmanship, some- 
times he was chairman, but always we worked together as a team. I 


prepared the agenda for the meetings and wrote the reports to be 
presented to the Board. And I was usually in charge of carrying into 
execution any projects approved by the Board. The association with 
Pratt was one of the pleasantest of my years of service on the Buildings 
and Grounds Committee. His judgment was excellent, his taste sound; 
he had been interested in the planning of the campus since the days 
when Norton and he had submitted their proposal for the Fine Arts 
Commission, headed by Mead. When we began to build, I made a 
trip to the College almost every month, and sometimes oftener, to 
follow details. Pratt joined me there whenever I needed him, and was 
extraordinarily generous in the time and thought he devoted to our 
problems. His generous gifts of money made possible two projects of 
first importance from an operating point of view which otherwise 
would have been delayed indefinitely. Toward the end of his term 
his health failed and he was unable to take the active part he had be- 
fore assumed. He died in 1935 at the age of sixty-five. 

The other members of the Committee in 1 92 1 were Reverend Cor- 
nelius H. Patton, '83, who was then secretary of the American Board 
of Commissioners for Foreign Missions; Edward T. Esty, '97; and, of 
course, Frank W. Stearns, '78, who was relinquishing the chairmanship. 
Both Patton and Esty were men of excellent judgment; Esty had the 
additional advantage that he had grown up in Amherst and knew the 
College and the town uncommonly well. 

In the booklet. The Gift of Amherst Sons to Their Alma Mater, which had 
been sent to all alumni at the beginning of the Centennial Campaign, 
various projects were mentioned to which the Gift might be devoted, 
and the booklet contained the following statement: 

"The Trustees, after full conference with the Alumni Council will see 
that every dollar is made to do its utmost for the Amherst of the Second 
Hundred Years." 

To implement this statement, the Board at the November meeting in 
1 92 1 authorized the president of the Board to appoint four trustees to 
a Joint Committee of Survey "to consider the needs of the College to 
be met by the Centennial Gift and the priority of such needs," the 
committee to include four members appointed from the faculty and 
four from the Alumni Council. The trustee members of the Committee 
of Survey were the president of the College, and Messrs. Gillett, Mor- 
row, and King. The Executive Committee of the Alumni Council ap- 
pointed Eugene S. Wilson, '02, Charles A. Andrews, '95, and Fred B. 
Pratt, '87, with C. A. Terry, '79, as alternate; faculty representatives 
were Professors Churchill, Fitch, and Gettell. 

A number of conferences were held by the Committee on Survey. 
On the recommendation of the Committee the trustees made the fol- 
lowing major appropriations: 

$1,500,000 for endowment for teachers' salaries 
100,000 " " " purchase of books 

200,000 " " " scholarships 

250,000 " " " maintenance of plant 

This was a total of $2,050,000 for endowment. 

On October 6, 1922, at a meeting of the Survey Committee held 
at the University Club in New York, the Committee voted to i^ecom- 
mend to the Board that the next $600,000 available from the Cen- 
tennial Gift "be used for the physical plant of the College and that the 
order of the uses of this amount be as follows: 

"i. Such amount as is necessary and is properly chargeable to 
capital expenditure to put the buildings and grounds in satis- 
factory condition; 

"2. A unit of Hitchcock Field; 

"3. The gymnasium; 

"4. The church." 

The Board referred this recommendation to its Buildings and 
Grounds Committee "to investigate and report . . . with a detailed 
program of operations." We held four meetings of the Committee 
during the winter, studied possible alterations to Johnson Chapel and 
College Hall, secured sketch plans for Gymnasium and Cage and esti- 
mates of cost, studied proposals for changes in the church and secured 
estimates, and finally reported to the Board that we needed more time 
for a consideration of the many questions. It was obviously not the 
time to make any final decisions, and as it turned out, much more 
time was needed before some of the questions involved in the program 
could be resolved in a way satisfactory to all parties. 

Meanwhile the Board was engaged in a problem of the greatest 
difficulty, which came to a head at Commencement in 1923. On 
June 1 9, the Board told Alexander Meiklejohn that it was inadvisable 
for him to continue as president of the College, Mr. Meiklejohn ten- 
dered his resignation, and it was unanimously accepted. The Board 
then elected George D. Olds, who had recently retired as dean and 
professor of mathematics, acting president for one year and president 
thereafter. The College has never had a president who commanded 
both the respect and the affection of more alumni than George D. 
Olds. Born in 1 853, he had graduated at the University of Rochester 


in 1873. He taught six years at Albany Academy, studied for four 
years at the Universities of Heidelberg and Berlin, and was professor 
of mathematics at Rochester for seven years. In 1891 he was called to 
Amherst as professor of mathematics. From 1910 till 1922 he was dean 
of the College; in 1920-21 he was acting president during the presi- 
dent's absence in Europe. Most of the alumni since the class of 1 895 
had been his students. He was approaching his seventieth birthday 
when he was chosen to head the College as its ninth president. He 
served until 1927, and died in Amherst on May 10, 1931. 

The faculty, which had been divided during the closing years of the 
previous administration, closed ranks behind the new president. He 
filled the vacancies caused by resignation, was the leader of a united 
Board, and had the support of the alumni body. Soon after he became 
president he asked me to take full responsibility for all matters relating 
to buildings and grounds. Thereafter the buildings and grounds staff 
of the College reported directly to me. The proposal was of course 
unsound in theory, but it worked admirably in practice. 

At the same time an informal arrangement developed within the 
Board and continued throughout the Olds term. Morrow was the 
dominant member of the Finance Committee, although he preferred 
not to hold the post of chairman. He was also chairman of the Executive 
Committee. Woodbridge was chairman of the Instruction Committee 
of the Board. Morrow, Woodbridge, and I became, in effect, an in- 
formal sub-committee of the Executive Committee, working directly 
with the president. We met frequently, either at Morrow's apartment 
in New York, or in Amherst, but most of our work was done on the 
long-distance telephone. The president was able to get immediate 
action on any problem on which he wished the support of the Board 
by telephoning any one of us. The one who received the inquiry from 
the president immediately conferred with his two colleagues by tele- 
phone and then called back to the president. The president was saved 
an immense amount of letter writing and traveling, the arrangement 
was flexible, and the Board seemed prepared to support any measure 
on which Morrow, Woodbridge, and I were in agreement. A valuable 
by-product was that Morrow, Woodbridge, and I came to know the 
administrative problems of the College more intimately than trustees 
commonly can know them. 

On more than one occasion when we had an hour to spare after our 
work in Amherst, Morrow asked me to drive Woodbridge and himself 
to Sunderland. There we would stop at the town library and read the 
tablet at the entrance, which reads in part, "in gratitude to him who 


been born in Huntington, West Virginia, Woodbridge in Windsor, 
Canada, and I in Troy, New York, but we all returned to the valley 
of the Connecticut as the spot where our spirits had been awakened. 
And our visits to Sunderland were an act of piety in which we returned 
to the sources of our lives and found new strength and refreshment. 

In 1 91 9 I had made a brief but comprehensive study and inspection 
of the college plant with Homer Eaton Keyes of Dartmouth in order 
that I might make a report to the alumni body in preparation for the 
campaign for the Centennial Gift. Now I was faced with the far graver 
problem of recommending action to my colleagues on the Buildings 
and Grounds Committee, and then to the Board. The president had 
placed in my hands such responsibility as he had in the premises. 
The funds at the disposal of the College for the pm-pose were limited. 
The essential needs of the institution in the development of its plant 
would far outrun the funds available. Different groups of alumni had 
pet projects which they thought deserved priority, and faculty opinion 
varied widely as to which needs ought to be met first. For the next 
nine years Amherst was my avocation. 

Fortunately there was one project which commanded almost uni- 
versal assent. That was the completion of Hitchcock Field. The first 
unit of the Field had been developed a dozen years before as a memorial 
to the Old Doctor. The Board now authorized us to complete the proj- 
ect. The work was carried through under the professional direction of 
Herbert J. Kellaway, landscape architect of Boston, who had been 
selected by Frank Stearns to make the original plans and had super- 
vised the construction of the first unit. Eighteen new tennis courts were 
now added to the original six, two new ball fields to supplement the 
one already in existence, and a number of minor improvements. The 
contractor was James E. Gray Company of Cambridge, and the fore- 
man Peter Robertson. The cost of the new program was about $85,000 
and was charged to the Centennial Gift. 

Before starting, however, on our program of construction, the Build- 
ings and Grounds Committee saw clearly that the College must have a 
superintendent of buildings and grounds who would devote his whole 
time to the college plant. For a hundred years the plant had been in 
the charge of the treasurer. The College had had in William Austin 
Dickinson a treasurer who was interested both in the maintenance of 
the buildings and in the development of the grounds, and who had 
both the time and the experience to devote to this necessary aspect 
of the work. But Dickinson had died in office in 1895, and for nearly a 
quarter of a century the maintenance staff of the College had reported 
to Harry W. Kidder, who had neither the time nor the experience. 


Kidder had more than enough to do in collecting and disbursing the 
college funds and in handling its investments under direction of Mor- 
row and his colleagues on the Finance Committee. For the new post 
we engaged Henry B. Thacher, whom I had selected a few years before 
to assist the committee in charge of arrangements for the Centennial. 
We advised the Board that we were engaging him to supervise the 
construction in progress, and that his salary would be charged to the 
construction costs and not be a charge on the budget. Thacher 's work 
proved eminently satisfactory. On September 27, 1923, the Executive 
Committee authorized us to retain Thacher as clerk of construction; 
the following July i st he was made superintendent of buildings and 
grounds, a post which he held for twenty-six years. 

Thacher began work under some difficulties. He was assigned desk 
room in the treasurer's office on the first floor of Walker Hall. The men 
who reported to him were scattered in the basements of various build- 
ings; his supplies were likewise scattered. It was some years before we 
were able to correct this condition and centralize all the work of his 
department. But in spite of these handicaps, Thacher and his secretary, 
Mrs. Alice Kennedy, who continued in her post until 1950, began to 
organize the work of the small staff then in the employ of the College, 
When Hitchcock Field was completed, we retained Peter Robertson, 
the foreman, as a permanent foreman of the groundsmen of the College, 
and he continued in this post for most of the remainder of his active 
life. My own work took me into most of the college buildings, and on 
one of my early inspection trips I was addressed by name by one of the 
staff, who said he remembered me as an undergraduate. This began 
my friendship with Charlie Tillson, which continued until we were 
both emeriti and the oldest surviving members of the group which 
worked together to develop the college plant. 

The next major project we undertook was also in the field of physical 
education. In the campaign for the Centennial Gift great emphasis 
had been placed on Gymnasium and Cage. All of the students partici- 
pate in the work in physical education, and the physical education 
facilities had a strong appeal to the majority of the alumni. Only 
faculty salaries and scholarships seemed to us to make a greater appeal 
to alumni sentiment, and these had been covered by large grants from 
the Centennial Gift. Pratt Gymnasium was now forty years old. The 
methods of physical education had changed radically in the two score 
years; the College had grown in size; the Gymnasium was becoming 
inadequate to the needs of the College. In addition, there was strong 
pressure for an indoor athletic field or Cage. Studies were immediately be- 
gun and sketches made by the college architect, McKim, Mead & White. 

Various suggestions were urged on our attention: that we build a 
new gymnasium; that we radically remodel Pratt Gymnasium; that 
we add a Cage at the southeast corner of Pratt Gymnasium; that we do 
nothing radical with Pratt Gymnasium but build a Cage at a new 
location. The physical education faculty were divided in their points 
of view, and so were the athletically minded alumni. Pratt and I lis- 
tened to all who wished to present their views. Fortunately we arrived 
at the same conclusion, though by different routes. Pratt had been an 
outstanding athlete as an undergraduate; I had never participated in 
athletics at any time in my life. The Pratt family had been identified 
with the athletic facilities of the College for forty years and had been 
large contributors to the Centennial Gift. Diplomacy was required, as 
well as a balancing of different needs of the College. 

We agreed, and we carried our Committee, and later the Board, 
with us. The formula we presented was to build a Cage, make minor 
improvements in Pratt Gymnasium, and then determine from future 
experience what, if anything, further was needed. In addition, we 
recommended minor improvements in Pratt Field and in Pratt Health 
Cottage. This program satisfied the Board, the faculty involved, the 
alumni, and the Pratt family. 

The approval of all parties presented to our Buildings and Grounds 
Committee a second problem which at first seemed more diflficult than 
the first. Where should the new Cage be located? It would be a large 
building — one hundred and sixty-eight feet square — without archi- 
tectural ornamentation, and without locker rooms and showers, for 
we could not afford to provide the large funds necessary for duplicate 
facilities of this nature. If we built the Cage on the slope below Pratt 
Gymnasium, we were committed to the maintenance of Pratt, and 
the huge mass added to Pratt Gymnasium at one corner of the campus 
would be unsound architecturally. If we selected another location, we 
were, in effect, committing the College to a new gymnasium at some 
time in the future, and in the meantime there would be the great in- 
convenience of no locker rooms or shower facilities in the Cage. 

We spent a year in study of the problem. We tramped over the cam- 
pus again and again. Each trustee felt competent to criticise any specific 
suggestion, and no location met all criticism. Finally we recommended 
the present location, and the Board approved. Now that the Alumni 
Gymnasium, the Davenport Squash Building, the Harold I. Pratt 
Pool, the Memorial Field and the War Memorial are all completed, 
the College has a composition that is unsurpassed, as far as I know. 
But at the time it took faith to see what might ultimately be de- 


Once the question of location was settled, the planning and construc- 
tion of the Cage presented no serious problems. Detailed plans were 
drawn by McKim, Mead & White, bids were taken, and the contract 
let to Casper Ranger Company of Holyoke. The stone house, known 
as the Tuckerman house, then standing at the site, was taken down. 
The Cage was completed in 1925, at a total cost of about $178,000. 

As I look back over the records of the Buildings and Grounds Com- 
mittee at this period, I note that McKim, Mead & White were repre- 
sented in their dealings with the College by Burt Fenner of the firm 
and by James Kellum Smith, '15, who was later to become the architect 
for the College. The latter, for example, seems to have been active 
in plans for the Cage, for remodeling Appleton, for remodeling Johnson 
Chapel, all of which were later carried through, as well as for sketches 
of changes in Morgan Library to make it into an administration build- 
ing, which were laid on the table. 

Meanwhile the Committee was engaged in extensive alterations and 
improvements in the Chapel, College Hall, Pratt Field, and the Ob- 
servatory, at a cost of about $38,000; in extensive changes in the 
President's house at a cost of some $43,000; and in changes in the 
Physics Laboratory, which were estimated to cost about $31,000. Plans 
were drawn for the enlargement of Johnson Chapel, but these were 
laid on the table by the Board. Plans for the remodeling of the College 
Church, which had been prepared by Allen & Collens, Boston archi- 
tects, at the request of Dr. Fitch in the previous administration, were 
placed in the files without action, and the College paid the bill of the 
architects. Some of the Board were in favor of tearing down the Octa- 
gon, and the question was discussed at length. My own view was that 
we could not afford to reduce our classroom space at a time when we 
were rapidly reaching a point where we would be short of classroom 
facilities, and, in addition, I urged that the building represented a 
turning point in the history of the College and ought to be kept for 
reasons of piety. The Board deferred action. 

Morrow proposed a broad mall approaching the College from the 
west, which would involve the widening of Walnut Street, the removal 
of several dwelling houses owned by the College, new planting, and 
the future extension of the mall to Northampton Road through property 
not then owned by the College. Sketch plans were made of the pro- 
posal, and Woodbridge named the project Via Morrow. No action was 
taken, as the College had more pressing needs which required all the 
funds available. 

The next major project to engage the study of the Committee was 
a Central Heating Plant. This had been recommended early in the 

century by President Harris, but no funds were available and no action 
was taken. Our Committee began a study of the problem immediately 
and made a preliminary report to the Board early in 1924, suggesting 
that the cost would be in the neighborhood of $150,000 to $190,000. 
As the Survey Committee was pressing us for action on a gymnasium 
or cage, which would have alumni appeal, we were forced to defer 
action, but we continued our studies. 

The college buildings in the early days were heated by stoves in the 
recitation rooms, which burned chestnut wood, as we have seen, and 
the students' rooms in the old dormitories were heated by fireplaces 
until the decade of the 1890's, when steam heat was introduced. In 
1923 each college building had its own furnace, with the exception of 
Appleton, which was unheated, and one or two others which were 
heated from nearby buildings. There were, in fact, twelve heating 
plants serving sixteen buildings. Anthracite coal was bought locally at 
the retail price; furnaces were tended by the janitors; and when ashes 
were removed, the dust drifted up through the building. If a new 
building was to be built, a new furnace was bought and installed. 
Gradually, our coal purchases increased, and they now were seventeen 
hundred tons a year, but we still bought at the retail price. Both Pratt 
and I knew that we ought to have a central heating plant, and that 
we ought to build it before the College was further enlarged and new 
buildings added. But we must persuade our colleagues. 

I then invited the chief engineer of International Shoe Company, 
with which I was associated, to come to the College as my guest and 
make a report. The purchasing agent of the company made me a 
report on the cost of buying coal at the mine on specification, and 
having it delivered in carload lots on a railroad siding beside a pro- 
posed heating plant on the campus. These reports were rendered, of 
course, without cost to the College. 

The question of site was not difficult. The campus was bounded on 
the south by the tracks of the Massachusetts Central Division of the 
Boston & Maine Railroad, and on the east by the tracks of the Central 
Vermont, which ran from tidewater at New London to the Canadian 
border. Either road would gladly build us a siding in order to get the 
business. But a heating plant on the Boston & Maine would spoil the 
magnificent vista to the Holyoke hills, while a building at the extreme 
northeast corner of the campus beside the Central Vermont would be 
relatively unobjectionable. Furthermore, the local coal dealers had 
their own sidings on the Central Vermont and their coal pockets were 
already something of an eyesore in the view to the east. I then con- 
sulted Hollis French and Allen Hubbard, the leading heating engineers 


in Boston, who were consultants for International Shoe Company, and 
obtained a report from them without cost to the College. 

Our Committee was now in agreement, except for the source from 
which the necessary funds could be secured. The initial outlay would 
be about $150,000. At this point George Pratt presented one of the 
most generous offers the College was to receive. He said, in effect, 
that if the Board would authorize us to proceed, he would give $75,000 
toward the project. Mortimer L. Schiff, '96, added a gift of $5,000. 
The Board approved our recommendation, when these gifts were an- 

Pratt's brothers had given smaller amounts and had their names at- 
tached to a gymnasium and a beautiful athletic field. There is no 
sentiment, there is no beauty, in a heating plant, with its connecting 
system of conduits. George Pratt by this gift made possible an addition 
which was to make more effective all the buildings on the campus and 
all that might subsequently be built. It was a generous act, and one 
characteristic of George Pratt. 

McKim, Mead & White prepared plans for a heating plant in three 
units, and a contract for the first unit was at once let to Lowell Whipple 
Company of Worcester. The engineering plans were drawn by Tenney 
& Ohmes of New York. The heating plant was installed by Holyoke 
Valve & Hydrant Company of Holyoke. The plant was completed in 
1925 at a cost of about $150,000. The balance above the gifts was 
charged to the Centennial Gift. The steam generated in the plant was 
carried to the buildings by underground conduits, which was then the 
accepted practice. Our engineers, in response to my inquiry as to the 
probable length of useful life of the conduit system, replied about 
twenty years. 

As the heating plant neared completion, our Committee was faced 
with another problem, this one in the field of diplomacy in the relations 
of town and gown. As Pratt had made the gift which made possible 
the plant, I undertook to deal with the problem. The College had 
bought its coal from C. R. Elder of Amherst, and was doubtless his 
largest customer. Elder was a selectman, a director of the First National 
Bank in town, and the principal operating officer of the local water 
company. We met to discuss the question. I told Elder how much we 
appreciated the service he had rendered for many years, but that as I 
was acting for the College, I must buy in the lowest market. He urged 
the problem of unloading cars of coal in midwinter when the coal was 
frozen. I then said that we did not wish to bargain with a friend. In- 
stead, I urged that he write me a letter naming the lowest price he 
could afford to accept, and I would either accept or reject. When I 

received his letter, I was forced to reply that we could do better in 
buying at the mines and unloading our own cars. This we have done 
ever since. 

In the course of these negotiations I found that we owned a small 
tract of land east of the Central Vermont tracks which Elder would 
like to acquire. We made a trade: our tract to go to him in return for 
a piece of his land which we could use, and, in addition, an agreement 
from him that he would make no repair to the tall coal pocket of his 
which was in our view. When repairs were needed, he would take it 
down and erect it farther to the north. The Board approved, and my 
colleagues were delighted when Elder took down the pocket. 

In 1 926 we added the second unit to the heating plant at a cost of 
about Si 10,000, which was charged to the Centennial Gift. No further 
boiler capacity has been needed up to the present. 

I have said that the College needed more classroom space. Our Com- 
mittee pointed out to the Board that the least expensive way to provide 
additional space was to remodel Appleton and heat it. Plans were pre- 
pared by McKim, Mead & White, and the work was done by Casper 
Ranger Company of Holyoke. The cost was about $105,000. Appleton 
Cabinet had been a two-story building (without heat) for the exhibition 
of scientific collections. Now it became Appleton Hall, three stories 
installed in the space occupied by two, heated and ventilated, with 
large lecture rooms and small classrooms and faculty offices. The work 
was completed in 1925. 

The College had always been short of dormitory space, except for a 
few years after East College was taken down. It had North and South 
and Morris Pratt Memorial. In 1925 Morrow discussed the matter 
with the president and me. Mrs. Morrow and he then offered the 
College a gift of $200,000 toward a new dormitory. Morrow and I 
agreed, after consultation with McKim, Mead & White, on a location 
just east of Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory, and the Board approved. 
At Morrow's suggestion, which was endorsed by the president, it was 
decided to make Morrow Hall a dormitory with single rooms instead 
of suites. The president wished to try the experiment of a college cafe- 
teria on a small scale, and provision was made for this on the ground 
floor. The plans were drawn by McKim, Mead & White, and the 
contract was let to Casper Ranger Company. The kitchen equipment 
was bought, at the suggestion of Fred Allis, from Bramhall, Deane Co. 
of New York of which his classmate, Edward Bramhall Brooks, was 
president. Brooks made a gift to the College of $4,000, which covered 
the cost of most of the equipment. A contract was made with L. G. 
Treadway of Williamstown to operate the cafeteria on a cost basis, 


without profit to him or to the College. Morrow Hall was completed 
in 1926 at a cost of about $253,000. This included standard furniture 
in all student rooms, a new departure for the College, at a cost of about 

The membership of the Buildings and Grounds Committee had been 
modified by the Board, and William C. Breed, '93, of the New York 
bar had been added to the Committee in place of Esty, '97, who was 
doing a large amount of work as counsel to the Board. Breed was 
vigorous and persuasive and had a large fund of common sense. But 
his large professional practice in New York engrossed his time and he 
was unable to devote a large amount of time to the work of the Com- 

Another important building operation was carried through at about 
this time, though not directly by the College. Both the alumni and the 
Board had long felt the need of an Inn. It was needed to house alumni 
returning from time to time during the college year, to accommodate 
the parents of undergraduates, and to provide facilities for meals. The 
Board did not consider the erection and operation of an Inn a proper 
function of the College itself and referred the matter to the Alumni 
Council. A committee of the Council had had the matter under study 
and discussion for some time without tangible result. Two different 
sites were urged for the proposed Inn, one the location at the corner 
of Boltwood Avenue and Spring Street, on which the Inn now stands, 
and the other the Mount Doma property south of the Massachusetts 
Central Railroad, which had been bought privately by Mortimer L. 
Schiff for Si 0,000, placed in Plimpton's name, and later given to the 
College. Plimpton and Schiff and many others favored the Mount 
Doma location, but others felt that it was too far out of town and would 
require the use of taxicabs or private cars for guests. 

Meanwhile, a group of alumni privately bought the corner site on 
Boltwood Avenue and Spring Street for about $25,000 and held it 
for the benefit of the Inn, if it should be erected there. Both sites were 
therefore available. Finally, Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, took the lead 
in the matter and with a committee of alumni brought the Lord 
JefTerey Inn into being. Whitcomb and I were classmates. His father 
had been one of the most influential trustees of the College for many 
years, and for a few years, beginning in 1895, had acted as treasurer. 
Ernest had spent some years in New York in the banking business, 
and had then returned to Amherst, bought an interest in the First 
National Bank of Amherst, and was now its president. He had been 
active in the organization of the Alumni Council and in the develop- 
ment of the Amherst Graduates' Quarterly, he had a wide acquaintance 

among the alumni, and the reputation of completing any project he 

Whitcomb organized the Amherst Inn Company as a Massachusetts 
corporation. The first Board of Directors included Arthur Curtiss 
James, '89, George D. Pratt, '93, Mortimer L. Schiflf, '96, Edward S. 
Whitney, '90, and Whitcomb. Common stock in the company was 
sold at its par value of $100 per share to alumni and to businessmen 
in the town. The alumni purchased 2578 shares, and 270 shares were 
bought by citizens of the town not alumni. This gave the Inn Company 
a capital of $284,800. The College made a loan to the Inn Company of 
$100,000 secured by a first mortgage at 5%, later reduced to 3% by 
the trustees. 

The cost of the Inn property was as follows: 

Land $ 28,452.82 

Building 296,585.39 

Equipment and furnishing 425539-39 

Linen 11,212.62 

Total $378,790.22 

The Building Committee consisted of Whitcomb, chairman, Fred- 
erick S. AUis, '93, H. A. Cushing, '91, E. S. Whitney, '90, C. R. Elder, 
representing the local stockholders; and I was named to represent the 
trustees of the College. The architect was Allen H. Cox of Putnam & 
Cox, Boston. Whitcomb early retained L. G. Treadway, manager 
of various New England inns, as manager, and Treadway's advice was 
of great value in the drafting of plans for the Inn. 

The Inn was the recipient of a number of gifts from alumni. Special 
mention should be made of the following: 

The Plimpton Collection of French and Indian War Items. Presented to Amherst 
College by George A. Plimpton, '76, with the request that they be ex- 
hibited at the Lord Jeffery Inn: maps, etchings, letters, pages from 
old newspapers, military forms; a considerable part of the collection 
deals with the activities of General Jeffery Amherst. (See printed cata- 
logue prepared by J. C. Long, '14, and published by the College in 1934.) 

James Turner Gifts. Mr. Turner was a constant donor to the Inn. He gave 
the furniture in the private dining room, rugs, money, and many other 
evidences of his deep interest in the success of the Lord Jeffery. 

The Babbolt Gifts. All of the paintings and silver in the main dining room 
are the gift of Frank L. Babbott, '78. Mr. Babbott's devotion to the Inn 
was such that he sdpulated that he should have the exclusive right to 
furnish the dining room. 


Gifts of E. S. Whitney, ^go. Mr. Whitney gave antique clocks and antique 
silver which are displayed in the public rooms. 

Fireplace. It was the desire of the Building Committee that the main fire- 
place in the living room be of Pelham granite. This was not obtainable 
commercially. The Pelham granite for the fireplace is the gift of Stanley 
King, '03. 

The Inn was built in 1925-26 and opened on June 3, 1926 as the 
Lord Jeffery Inn. Later the Inn Company purchased several parcels 
in the immediate neighborhood as follows: 

Genung property 


Smith property 


39 Churchill Street 


37 Spring Street 


37 Spring Street furnishings 




In 1944 L. G. Treadway retired as general manager, and in the 
same year Whitcomb retired as treasurer and director and was suc- 
ceeded by Paul D. Weathers, treasurer of the College. The present 
directors are Frederick S. Fales, '96, Richard H. Gregory, '98, Paul D. 
Weathers, '15, Fred H. Hawley, president of the Amherst Savings 
Bank, and myself. 

The College has received from time to time gifts and bequests of 
stock in the Inn Company (the largest being the gift of $25,000 par 
value given to the College by the Pratt brothers), and is now the 
largest stockholder, although it holds less than a majority. The first 
mortgage, held by the College, has been reduced to $70,000. The 
stock has never paid dividends. 

In 1926 the College replaced the ancient fence around Pratt Field, 
which had fallen into serious disrepair, with the present modern iron 
fence. And through generous gifts of $10,000 from George Pratt and 
$5,000 from Herbert L. Pratt, '95, we were able to add the handsome 
ornamental iron gates and the appropriate structures for the sale of 
tickets that now grace both the main entrance to the field and the 
automobile entrance from Northampton Road. McKim, Mead & 
White were the architects and Lowell Whipple Company of Worcester 
the contractors. The cost was $15,967. 

Pratt and Schiff, in making their gifts for the central heating plant, 
had requested that the gifts be credited to the Centennial Fund. The 
Pratt brothers, in making their gift of $25,000 for the purchase of stock 
in the Inn, had made a similar request. And the gifts of George Pratt 

of $1 0,000 and of Harold I. Pratt of $5,000 for the ornamental gate- 
ways to Pratt Field had carried the same request. In reviewing the 
appropriations previously made by the Board from the Centennial 
Gift, it was clear that they must be modified to meet the new situation 
created by these later gifts. The matter came before the Board at the 
Commencement meeting in June 1926. I had held a meeting of the 
Joint Survey Committee earlier and presented a comprehensive ac- 
count of appropriations from the Centennial Gift and of expenditures 
under these appropriations. The Joint Survey Committee had then 
approved certain modifications which I had recommended. A care- 
fully drawn resolution was prepared for and submitted to the Board, 
embodying these amendments to its previous action, and was adopted 
by the Board. This resolution appears in full in the Appendix. In 
substance, the revised dispositions now finally made of the proceeds 
of the Centennial Gift were as follows : 


Addition to Endowment 

Teachers' salaries 







Plant maintenance 
Improvement to Physical 1 





Purchase of Inn Company 





4. Expenses of Centennial Gift and Celebration 84,384.63 


The Board voted further that any additional collections made from 
the Centennial Gift be expended for the improvement of the physical 
plant of the College, and that the Centennial Gift account be closed. 

The Report of the Finance Committee of 1924, which was printed and 
mailed to all the alumni, contained an accounting of the expenditures 
from the Centennial Gift up to that time. No further report has ever 
been made to the alumni as a whole. In view of the obvious fact that 
the Centennial Fund came from the alumni body — from, in fact, 
over four thousand individual alumni — I have presented the full de- 
tails in the form in which they were presented to the Board and ac- 
cepted by them. No words of mine can adequately convey to the 
alumni what the specific expenditures for the improvement of the plant 
have meant in the life of the College in the nearly thirty years which 
have passed since the funds were pledged. 

In the autumn of 1926 the Board and the alumni were saddened by 
the announcement of President Olds that he felt it necessary to retire 
at the close of the year. We all knew how much he had accomplished 
in the brief span of four years. He had assumed the office when he was 


seventy, at a time of crisis in the affairs of the institution he loved and 
to which he had devoted most of his active Hfe. Now he was ready to 
turn over the symbols of office to a successor, who would assume the 
leadership of a united college faculty and alumni body. 

The Board appointed Morrow, Woodbridge, and me to the com- 
mittee to nominate a new president. Woodbridge and I met privately 
and agreed that Morrow was the perfect choice for the College at this 
time if he could be persuaded to accept the office. We then polled the 
Board informally by letter and found, as we expected, that the Board 
was unanimous in this opinion. Then we made formal tender of the 
nomination to Morrow. I suggested that if he would accept, he might 
call Woodbridge from his chair in Columbia to the chairmanship of 
the Department of Philosophy in Amherst. And as I knew that there 
were many duties of the president's office that Morrow would find 
irksome, I offered, if he accepted, to move to Amherst and undertake 
to handle any problems he wished to pass on to me, without title or 
salary. Morrow took a full month to consider the matter. He had al- 
ready declined the presidency of a great university. But Amherst was 
his alma mater and he had a deep affection for it. In his younger life 
he felt that his highest ambition was to become president of Amherst, 
and he had said as much to Dean Kirchwey of Columbia Law School 
a score of years earlier. But after mature reflection Morrow declined. 

At the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1927 Arthur Stanley 
Pease was elected the tenth president of the College. Pease was a 
graduate of Harvard in the class of 1902 and a classical scholar of 
great distinction; he had been Moore Professor of Latin at Amherst 
for three years. Pease asked me to continue my relationship to the 
Department of Buildings and Grounds and my responsibilities in this 
field, and I agreed to do so. 

On the retirement of Olds, the alumni raised a special fund to build 
a home for Mr. and Mrs. Olds on college property, the site to be 
selected by the Olds. They chose the corner of Woodside Avenue and 
Hitchcock Road opposite the entrance to Pratt Field. The house was 
designed by Allen Cox of Putnam & Cox and the contractor was 
Casper Ranger Construction Company of Holyoke. The cost was about 
$31,000. The landscaping was done under the direction of Harold H. 
Blossom, '02, of Boston. The house was completed in the autumn of 

Important changes in the Board were taking place. Morrow resigned 
from the Morgan firm in 1927 to accept the appointment of Ambassador 
to Mexico. The appointment kept him out of the country and he 
relinquished most of his Amherst responsibilities except for the super- 

The Lord JefFery Inn 

Amherst House at Doshisha University 

vision of the portfolio. Woodbridge became chairman of the Executive 
Committee and held the post until 1931, when he went to Berlin as 
Theodore Roosevelt Professor at the University of Berlin. My own 
term as alumni trustee was expiring at this time and I was not eligible 
to reelection by the alumni. Woodbridge thereupon, without consulta- 
tion with me, resigned his membership on the life Board and nominated 
me as his successor. I was elected and assumed the chairmanship of the 
Executive Committee for the year that Woodbridge was abroad. 

In 1927 Alfred E. Stearns, '94, was elected alumni trustee; in 1928 
Louis G. Caldwell, '13, and in 1929 Robert W. Maynard, '02. All 
three men were destined to play important roles in the affairs of the 
College; Stearns and Maynard later became life trustees, and Stearns 
later succeeded Plimpton as chairman of the Board. 

In 1925-26 I acted as chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Com- 
mittee at the request of Pratt. On January 13, 1926, we presented a 
comprehensive report to the Board covering our numerous projects 
and recommendations for future action. At the conclusion of the report 
we said, "Your Committee agrees with the President that the most 
pressing need of the College in physical equipment today is a new 
chemical laboratory which should probably be placed between the 
Morrow Dormitory and the Fayerweather Laboratory on the north 
side of the college property, running east and west and forming a side 
of a new quadrangle. The existing quarters of the Chemistry Depart- 
ment will be required in a comparatively few years by the Physics 
Department and the Department of Astronomy. Either the Executive 
Committee or the Finance Committee of the College should consider 
ways and means of securing the necessary funds for meeting this situa- 

Earlier in the century Fayerweather Laboratory had been entirely 
adequate for both departments. But great developments had taken 
place in both fields, we had a strong faculty in each science, more 
students were electing the subjects, and the College itself was growing 
in total enrollment. It was clear that something must be done to meet 
the situation. And our studies indicated that if we were to have a new 
building, it should be for chemistry. 

At the same time, as I have pointed out in my History of the Endow- 
ment of Amherst College, Plimpton and others on the Board were en- 
deavoring to secure a number of endowed professorships of Si 60,000 
each, which would pay a stipend of S8,ooo per annum. Plimpton and 
I had hoped to interest Mrs. William H. Moore, widow of a member 
of the class of 187 1, in the gift of such a professorship in memory of her 
late husband, who had died in 1923. William H. Moore had been an 


uncommonly successful lawyer and financier. Born in Utica, New York, 
in 1848, he had attended Amherst for three years, studied law, been 
admitted to the Wisconsin bar, and then settled in Chicago, where he 
made a specialty of corporation law. With his brother he formed the 
four great corporations known as the "Moore group," with combined 
capital of $187,000,000, all later absorbed into the United States Steel 
Company. He also promoted other large corporations, including the 
Diamond Match Company, National Biscuit Company, American Tin 
Plate Company, American Steel Hoop Company, and many others. 
He became chairman of the Board of National Biscuit, and director 
of the First National Bank of New York and of many other corpora- 

Although he had attended Amherst only three years, the Board had 
awarded him the degree of B.A., extra ordinem, in 1905. This practice 
was still in vogue in Amherst and in the other older colleges. Later the 
colleges agreed to award the Bachelor's degree only for the completion 
of the undergraduate course. 

The Moores and the Plimptons had long had a pleasant acquaint- 
ance, and the Plimptons were in the habit of giving a dinner each 
winter for Mrs. Moore, who of course returned the courtesy. Each 
summer the Plimptons would call on Mrs. Moore at Pride's Crossing. 
No mention had been made of Amherst. Then Plimpton suggested to 
Mrs. Moore that she might like to give a professorship of Si 60,000 to 
the College in memory of her husband. 

She replied, "I have no interest whatever in giving a professorship, 
Mr. Plimpton, and my husband would not have been interested in 
having such a memorial in his name." Plimpton was very much discon- 
certed by this decisive answer, and showed it, but said nothing for a 

Then Mrs. Moore, having let her statement sink in, went on, 
"Wouldn't the College like a building as a memorial to my husband?" 
Plimpton agreed at once. 

"What kind of building, Mr. Plimpton?" continued his hostess. He 
replied that he would have to consult Stanley King. We consulted, 
and on his next call he suggested a chemistry laboratory. She said that 
would interest her and suggested that he consult Mr. Mead and have 
sketches made. 

On his next visit, Plimpton reported to Mrs. Moore that he had 
seen Mead, who had had preliminary sketches made. "But a chemistry 
building," said Plimpton, "will cost much more than a professorship. 
Mead estimates that it will cost at least $350,000." 

"My two sons and I will be delighted to give a chemistry building," 

replied Mrs. Moore without hesitation. "Please tell Mr. Mead to go 
right ahead and build a chemistry building in memory of my husband, 
whom of course he knew." 

The Board immediately gave its approval, the location was approved, 
McKim, Mead & White prepared plans as rapidly as possible, and 
construction of the new chemistry laboratory was begun in the autumn 
of 1 928 before the detailed drawings and specifications were completed. 
The contractor was the Casper Ranger Company of Holyoke, the 
engineers Tenney & Ohmes of New York. The landscape architect 
was Herbert J. Kellaway of Boston. 

McKim, Mead & White assigned the preparation of the plans to 
James Kellum Smith, who had recently been admitted to the firm. 
Smith was a graduate of Amherst in the class of 191 5, studied at the 
University of Pennsylvania, won the Prix de Rome competition, and 
studied at the American Academy of Classical Studies in Rome, where 
he had come to the attention of Mead, who was president of the 
Academy. On his return to this country J. K. Smith had entered the 
office of McKim, Mead & White. Now a partner, he was to make 
the plans and supervise the construction of his first building for his 
alma mater. 

For the Chemistry Department Professor Howard W. Doughty took 
the laboring oar, and for the next year he devoted a large part of his 
time and energy to the detailed and sometimes difficult problems in- 
volved in the planning and erection of the building. 

Mrs. King and I had planned an extended trip around the world that 
winter and were to leave the country directly after the presidential 
election on a steamer for the Orient. My colleague, George Pratt, 
was to be available and generously agreed to assume the responsibility 
for the Committee in overseeing the construction of the building. He 
knew the Moores, he knew the architects, and neither he nor I realized 
the problems that would develop in the construction of a building as 
complicated as a chemistry laboratory, particularly when construction 
was started before the completion of detailed working drawings and 
specifications. All of the omens were favorable in November and work 
was making sound progress when Mrs. King and I left for San Fran- 
cisco. I was out of touch with the program until we landed in New 
York the following spring. I called on Pratt before we went on to our 
home in Boston. 

There I heard the complex story. First, the building was costing 
more than the estimate of $350,000 made by Mr. Mead before plans 
were begun. The architects now thought the building would cost 
$450,000. When this had been communicated to Mr. Plimpton, he had 


insisted that Mr, Mead himself break the news to Mrs. Moore. Mr. Mead 
had called on Mrs. Moore and given her the bad news. She had not 
been disturbed. She told Mr. Mead she had never fixed a sum for the 
gift — that she was giving a building; he had fixed the sum, and if it 
was too low, he would of course revise it upward as he had done; he 
was to proceed to finish the building. The cost of $450,000 was satis- 
factory to her. Her understanding and her generosity had of course 
heartened everybody. 

But there were other problems, intricate and involving decisions by 
the representative of the Board on questions in dispute between Pro- 
fessor Doughty and the architects, between architect and contractor, 
and between Professor Doughty and the contractor. Mr. Pratt had 
tried to settle these by correspondence and had not been successful. 
Relations were seriously strained. The ensuing correspondence filled a 
big folder which Pratt showed me; and the longer and more involved 
the letters on the three sides of each question became, the more difficult 
became the role of the representative of the Board with whom lay the 
final decision. Part of the difficulty was in the fact that the professor 
knew exactly what materials were necessary to withstand the chemical 
reactions of the experiments which would be carried on, and neither 
Pratt nor architect nor contractor was a chemist. The professor seemed 
to the laymen too dogmatic and his requirements too expensive. For 
drain pipes from the numerous sinks, for example, he insisted on a 
special rather expensive material, on the ground that the conventional 
drain pipes would be quickly eaten away by the chemicals which would 
go down the drains. And Pratt felt too that the professor was becoming 
perhaps too uncompromising in his replies to a trustee, without realiz- 
ing that in matters of chemistry the professor was dealing with some 
matters that were not subject to compromise. In short, I found a very 
unhappy trustee who did not quite know what the next step was. 

When I oflfered to take the entire file and settle all questions at issue, 
Pratt was much relieved — though he cautioned me to keep the file 
and return it to him as a matter of record. Happily, he never saw the 
file again. As soon as Mrs. King and I had returned to Boston and un- 
packed, I called a meeting in Amherst of architect, contractor, and 
professor. We met all day. I never opened the file of correspondence. 
I asked the architect to bring up in order all unsettled questions. On 
each question I listened to all parties. Perhaps fortunately, I had never 
had a course in cheuiistry. I accepted the professor's word as final 
on all technical questions in his field. All parties were eager for a 
settlement of disputed points. An oral discussion of each point threw 
more light on the exact issue than pages of correspondence. Many 

questions could be compromised. And I was accustomed to assuming 
the responsibility for making decisions for the Board. 

But one point became clear to me which Pratt and I had not dis- 
cussed. If we were to complete the building within the figure of 
$450,000, we must make some savings somewhere. I knew how to 
make them and made my plans to do so. But I telephoned Mr. Plimp- 
ton a summary of the present position. He called on Mrs. Moore and 
told her that I had taken over and would continue in charge to com- 
pletion. She asked whether I had the idea that I must complete the 
building within the figure of $450,000 which Mr. Mead had given her. 
Mr. Plimpton said that was my intention. Mrs. Moore replied, "Tell 
Stanley King that I have never set a figure. I am giving a building and 
I want it completed. But I want it to be up to the highest standard in 
every respect even if the costs run above Mr. Mead's figure." Mr. Plimp- 
ton telephoned me her message and we cancelled our plans for savings 
to bring the total cost within the Mead figure. The building was com- 
pleted and equipped at a final cost of about $480,000. 

We planned a formal dedication for October, 1929. We sent out 
invitations to our sister colleges. Mrs. Moore and the Plimptons were 
to be house guests of President and Mrs. Pease. George Pratt and his 
wife were to be hosts at the Lord Jeffery Inn to one of the sons and 
his wife, and my wife and I were to be hosts to the other. We spent the 
morning in an inspection of the campus. At noon one of the sons was 
called to the telephone for a long distance call from New York. The 
stock market had broken and prices were plummeting; there seemed 
to be no bottom; it was panic. But the Moores did not seem unduly 
disturbed. We went on with our plans. 

That noon Mrs. Moore sent for her sons to meet her in her room at 
the president's house. Mr. Plimpton waited in the drawing room with 
some anxiety. When Mrs. Moore came downstairs, she told Mr, Plimp- 
ton that she had just realized what a disservice they had done to the 
College. Her husband had been a close friend of Andrew Carnegie 
and had often told Carnegie that in giving libraries to small towns and 
cities all over the country he had saddled on each community a building 
which was not self-supporting but would require the community to 
pay a substantial sum each year for heating and care and maintenance. 
This, she realized now, was just what she and her sons had done in 
giving this laboratory to Amherst in memory of her husband. She had 
therefore asked her sons to join with her in giving the College an ad- 
ditional quarter of a million dollars to endow the building. Mr. Plimp- 
ton expressed his deep appreciation, telephoned me the good news in 
confidence, and at the formal exercises of dedication in the afternoon 


made public announcement of the additional gift of the Moores to 
the College. The Moore Laboratory of Chemistry is a magnificent 
memorial to a loyal son of Amherst, which the College might never 
have received had it not been for the active efforts of Mr. Plimpton, 
who never interrupted his quiet and persistent search for new gifts for 
his alma mater. 

Meanwhile the Committee was studying the need for centralizing 
the work of the Buildings and Grounds staff as well as its equipment. 
The College had motorized its snowplows, lawnmowers, and delivery 
trucks, and needed a garage and machine repair shop. It also was 
sorely in need of a service building to house its carpenter shop, plumb- 
ing shop, paint shop, and all the necessary operating supplies in a 
central store. When I had completed my studies for garage and ma- 
chine repair shop and had in hand sketch plans and cost estimates, I 
called a meeting in Amherst of the Buildings and Grounds Committee 
to consider the matter. Just as the meeting was to begin, Pratt called 
me on the long distance telephone to say that he had been detained 
in New York. He then added that he had read my report and would 
make a gift of the garage project. It was another example of his 
imaginative generosity. I knew of no one else who would give a garage. 

The building was built at the northeast corner of the campus beside 
the central heating plant in the autumn of 1929. The contractor was 
Casper Ranger Company, and the cost Si 1,400. Within a month from 
the completion of the building, the College received Pratt's check 
covering the entire cost. 

In 1 932 we were able to persuade the Board to use college funds for 
the erection of a Service Building. It was designed by Henry Thacher, 
our superintendent, and the design was then submitted to McKim, 
Mead & White for revision. Fred T. Ley & Co. of Springfield and New 
York were the contractors. The cost was $30,824. 

In the winter of 1931-32 President Pease received a call to a pro- 
fessorship of Latin at Harvard, his alma mater, and the Board ac- 
cepted his resignation with regret. In April, 1932, I was elected the 
eleventh president of the College, 

Another project that developed during this decade was the erection 
of an Amherst building on the campus of Doshisha University in 
Kyoto, Japan. Joseph Hardy Neesima, a young Japanese of good 
family, had escaped from Japan on a sailing ship at a time when it 
was an offense punishable by death for a Japanese to leave his country 
without the permission of his government. After various vicissitudes he 
landed on the Massachusetts coast and was turned over to the owner 
of the sailing vessel on which he landed. The owner, Alpheus Hardy, 

sent the young man first to Phillips Academy at Andover and then to 
Amherst, where Neesima graduated in the class of 1870. After four 
years at Andover Theological Seminary Neesima returned to Japan as 
a missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions. There he founded Doshisha College, later to become Doshisha 
University, in Kyoto. The college was at first supported by the American 
Board and was under its jurisdiction. Later the government of Japan 
required all colleges and universities to be operated under Boards made 
up of Japanese, and Doshisha became an independent Japanese Uni- 
versity, though it still retained the active interest of the American 
Board. In 1899 Amherst conferred its degree of Doctor of Laws on 
Neesima. A year later he died. His portrait has hung for many years 
in Johnson Chapel just to the right of the pulpit. 

The connection between Amherst and the American Board had long 
been close. The College was founded, as we know, by the Orthodox 
Congregationalists who feared the effect of the defection of Harvard 
to Unitarianism. Up to 1863, about sixty-three graduates of Amherst 
had become missionaries in the foreign field. This was a ratio twice 
that of Williams College and five times that of Dartmouth. They had 
gone to India, Siam, China, the Sandwich Islands, Liberia, Syria, 
Sumatra, Persia, Turkey, Patagonia, Mesopotamia, South Africa for 
work among the Zulus, Trebizond, Tocat, West Africa, Ceylon, Ar- 
menia, and Greece; and later of course to Japan. 

And so it is not surprising to find in the minutes of the Amherst 
Board in 191 5 a proposal that Amherst provide Si, 000 a year to 
send regularly to Doshisha a young graduate to teach at that Uni- 
versity. The proposal was referred to the Instruction Committee, which 
made no report on the matter to the Board. In 191 9, the Board re- 
ceived a communication from Reverend Alden Clark, '00, who had 
himself spent a large part of his life as a missionary in India and was 
now associated with the American Board, suggesting that in connection 
with the Centennial Gift about to be raised, the College set aside 
$40,000 for the erection of a Neesima Building on the Doshisha campus, 
and Si 0,000 for its endowment; that the College maintain a young 
graduate in residence on the Doshisha campus, paying his salary and 
traveling expenses; and that the College, in addition, provide a scholar- 
ship for a Japanese student at Doshisha so that he might spend the 
last two years of his course in Amherst. This would have meant a 
total capital investment of about Si 00,000 in the Doshisha project. 
The Board referred the matter to the Alumni Council, where it died. 

But Alden Clark was not daunted. In 1922 he persuaded the under- 
graduates to raise a fund through their Christian Association drive to 


send a young graduate to Japan, and Stewart B. Nichols, of the class of 
1922, went out for a two-year assignment to Doshisha. He was eminently 
successful. Toward the end of his term he sent a proposal to the Am- 
herst Board of Trustees entitled "Amherst in Japan," suggesting the 
erection on the Doshisha campus of an Amherst-Neesima Memorial 
Building to serve as a center for the work and influence of the Amherst 
representative, as well as a social and recreational center. This com- 
munication was referred by the Board to a committee consisting of 
Frank L. Babbott, chairman, Lucius R. Eastman, Cornelius H. Patton, 
and Arthur C. James. Babbott declined the chairmanship; James was 
interested. No active steps were taken. James had already given a 
building to Doshisha and Plimpton had given another building to the 
university. Patton was an officer of the American Board senior to 
Alden Clark. 

Unhappily, Stewart Nichols died not long after his return to the 
United States, ending a life that had great promise. In June 1927 
Patton reported to the Executive Committee of the Amherst Board that 
Nichols' family were prepared to give ^25,000 toward an Amherst 
building on the Doshisha campus. A year later Mrs. Nichols put this 
offer in writing and it was submitted to the Board. It was referred to 
a committee composed of Plimpton, James, and Patton. 

In 1928 Mrs. King and I sailed for Japan on the first lap of our trip 
around the world. Doshisha made a profound impression on both of us. 
We met the president, several members of the Board (including the 
chairman of their Committee on Buildings and Grounds), Miss Denton, 
Professor E. S. Cobb, of the Amherst class of 1900 and brother of 
Charles Cobb of the Amherst faculty, and were entertained by a group 
of students under the leadership of the Amherst representative on the 
campus at the time, Harold W. Moseley, '28. I have never seen before 
or since such eagerness for learning as I saw among those Japanese 
students. Doshisha University was relatively poor in endowment, in 
buildings, in equipment; but there was a devotion to learning and an 
eagerness that was contagious. On my return I persuaded my father 
and mother to join me in presenting a dormitory to the University in 
memory of my sister. It was a simple building in the Japanese style; 
unhappily, it was destroyed some years later by an earthquake which 
shook Japan. 

When my wife and I returned to this country, I reported to the 
Board informally on our visit to Doshisha. Meanwhile James had of- 
fered to match the gift of $25,000 of Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, provided a 
fund was raised and a building built on the Doshisha campus. The 
Board asked me informally to accept the chairmanship of a fund-raising 

committee of alumni, and I declined. I agreed, however, to serve on 
such a committee to solicit gifts from alumni who were in a position 
to give substantial amounts, and to handle the problem of architect, 
relations with the Doshisha Board, building contract, and transfer of 
funds. A committee was appointed by the Alumni Council under the 
chairmanship of Reverend Theodore A. Greene, '13, of New Britain, 
Connecticut, and a campaign was undertaken to raise the necessary 
funds. In 1930 the treasurer of the College reported the receipt of gifts 
of over $30,000, in addition to the $50,000 given by Mr. and Mrs. 
Nichols and James. 

I remember particularly my calls on Mortimer SchifT, '96, and 
Herbert L. Pratt, '95. Both men had worldwide business contacts, 
Schiff as a partner in the banking firm of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., and 
Pratt as executive of Standard Oil Company of New York; both were 
generous, both were devoted to Amherst. I called first on Schiff. He 
listened to my story and asked me only one question. Was Doshisha 
University an institution engaged in proselytizing for Christianity? I 
said no; it was an educational institution; its president was a Christian 
and many of its trustees were Christians. He nodded and said he would 
give $5,000. I walked a few blocks and called on Pratt. He asked the 
same question, and I gave the same answer. He said that under those 
conditions he would not give a cent. He had hoped, he said, for the 
opposite answer, in which case he would have given $5,000. 

Sketch plans were prepared by Allen Cox of Putnam & Cox of 
Boston, who had designed a majority of the fraternity houses on the 
Amherst campus. His design was similar to an Amherst chapter house; 
it was, in fact, unmistakably Amherst. These plans were sent to Do- 
shisha. There they were elaborated by a Japanese architect and carried 
to completion by a Japanese builder. The Japanese yen was falling 
in relation to the dollar. We transferred funds to Doshisha by cable 
only as they were actually needed to pay construction bills. As a result, 
we were able with the funds at our disposal, which we had thought 
adequate only for the erection of the building, to pay for the building 
and the furniture, and to have nearly a quarter of our fund left over 
for endowment. We were in agreement that Amherst College ought 
not to invest the endowment here and transmit the income to Doshisha. 
We therefore transmitted the remaining funds in the hands of the college 
treasurer to Doshisha University for a permanent endowment fund 
for the Amherst building. The Doshisha trustees invested the fund in 
Japanese government securities and applied the income to the operat- 
ing costs of the project. 

The Amherst building on the Doshisha campus gave a great impetus 


to the program. With a building there, there was no question as to 
the continuation of the practice of sending an Amherst representative 
every two years. I was not able to visit Doshisha again. My wife and 
I heard regularly from the students living in the King Dormitory. They 
sent us an album of campus photographs and drawings; a tea set of 
Japanese make in the Doshisha colors came to us from the students in 
the Amherst building; and we were constantly in touch, of course, 
with our Amherst representative. Plimpton made a special trip to 
Japan to represent the College at the dedication of the building and 
the celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of Doshisha, 
in October 1935. 

Amherst had graduated years before a number of Japanese young 
men of good family, and some of them had risen to positions of influ- 
ence in Japan. A notable alumnus was Count Ayske Kabayama, '89. 
He had prepared at Wilbraham Academy, spent two years at Wesleyan, 
and transferred to Amherst where he finished his course. He had been 
a member of Psi Upsilon and popular in his class. His two closest Am- 
herst friends were his classmates, James and Woodbridge, both mem- 
bers of the Amherst Board. He later became a leading industrialist in 
Japan, a member of the House of Peers, a leader in the Japanese- 
American Society of Tokyo, and deeply interested in the development 
of cultural ties between Japan and the United States. While he never 
was a member of the Japanese diplomatic corps, he often represented 
his country on business and cultural missions to this country. In 1935 
Amherst conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws on Kabayama 
at a special convocation at which he delivered an address. On that 
occasion he was a guest at the president's house and we had a most 
interesting talk. After his formal address I invited a few of the faculty 
to meet him at the president's house. I told him that no reporters 
were present and that nothing he said would be reported, and we asked 
him the most difficult questions we could frame in regard to the so- 
called Manchurian incident and the war his country was conducting 
against China. He was not embarrassed; he said he could talk frankly 
and honestly in the home of the president of his alma mater. And he 
did. We were all profoundly impressed by his candor, by his liberal 
views, and by his intellectual integrity. 

I remember a story I heard later from one of his college classmates. 
Kabayama lived in the Psi Upsilon chapter house during his under- 
graduate days at Amherst. He was known as "Kabby" and lived on 
terms of comradely familiarity with his fraternity mates. In the ver- 
nacular, he was a "regular fellow." One day a carriage drove up to the 
fraternity house, from which two Japanese gentlemen, dressed impec- 

cably in formal attire, emerged and walked up the path to the porch. 
When the door was opened by an undergraduate, they asked to see 
Kabayama. The American student showed them in and then walked 
to the foot of the stairs and shouted "Kabby." Presently Kabayama 
came slowly down the stairs dressed in formal Japanese attire, stood 
while the two Japanese gentlemen bowed low several times in respect. 
Then he escorted them to the fraternity parlor where they talked with 
formality, the Japanese gentlemen treating the Japanese undergraduate 
with great deference. The American boys had never seen anything like 
this and were profoundly impressed. Who was their classmate who 
received such deference? But when the gentlemen withdrew, Kabby 
changed into conventional student clothes and was again the gay, 
carefree college boy. 

In the summer of 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor, I received a 
long distance telephone call from New York from a man I had never 
known and whose name I have forgotten. He inquired whether I was 
president of Amherst College and when I assured him I was, he told 
me this story. He was an American Y.M.C.A. officer stationed in 
Japan. After Pearl Harbor he was interned for some months until the 
exchange of civilian personnel could be arranged between the two 
governments. He had just arrived home on a Swedish steamer bringing 
Americans who had been caught in Japan at the outbreak of the war. 
He said that Count Kabayama had come to the steamer to see him 
off and had asked him to say to the president of Amherst College, "My 
feelings toward my alma mater are unchanged." Kabayama is now 
an old man (he was born in 1866), most of his classmates have passed 
on; but after the war a young Amherst naval lieutenant of the Intelli- 
gence service found him living in retirement outside of Tokyo and 
brought word to me of him. 

When I became president, I found only one Japanese student in 
Amherst — Tsunegoro Chiba, ex '36, later president of the Japan Golf 
Ball Manufacturing Company, Tokyo. He came from a family of 
wealth, had a large allowance which he spent before Christmas. He 
joined Delta Kappa Epsilon and my wife and I saw something of him 
during his single year at Amherst. During the Christmas holidays he 
went to New York, dined at the Ritz and then mailed a copy of the 
menu to his father with all identifying marks removed, to indicate to 
him the cost of living in America. He asked his father for additional 
funds, but though he gave the number of yen he felt he needed, he 
did not ?,2iy yen. His father was impressed and sent him the number in 
dollars, thus giving our young freshman three times as much money 
as he had asked for. When he left in June to return home, he presented 


my wife and me with a picture of Fujiyama in cut velvet, with this 
inscription in his boyish hand, "To Mr. and Mrs. S. King, My most 
respectable American couple. T. Ghiba." He wrote us later that his 
father did not approve of his returning to Amherst to complete his 
course but wished him to go to Oxford. He did not wish to go to Oxford. 
They compromised by his marrying and going to work in the family 
business. We heard from him occasionally before the war. What hap- 
pened to him in the war I do not know. 

Later we had a number of Japanese students of a different type. 
They were all mature men, most of them officers in the Japanese 
Embassy, sent to Amherst at Japanese government expense to gain 
greater familiarity with English. Each carried a letter of introduction 
from the Japanese Embassy, each was very correct, each made a 
formal call on me as president on arrival and another on departure. 
They did not join fraternities, they did not mingle with our American 
students, they did not participate in the social life of the College; and 
they were entirely vague about their future plans when they took 
leave of us. Their letters of introduction were of two types: some were 
formal, third-person letters from their Embassy, and some first-person 
letters on different stationery. I never found out what the difference 
signified, if it did in fact signify anything. They were carefully checked 
by Intelligence officers of our own government so that I did not concern 
myself with their presence particularly. 

In 1939 the College selected Jack Hall as its representative to Do- 
shisha. He was uncommonly well equipped for the post. He had been 
born in Japan, where his father was a missionary. He had learned to 
speak Japanese as a boy, he had had an excellent college record. In 
1 940, I became concerned about the possibility of war with Japan and 
telephoned Alden Clark at the offices of the American Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions in Boston. Clark told me that their 
office was in constant touch with the Japanese situation, and that they 
felt entirely safe in leaving their missionaries there. He felt we ought to 
allow Hall to continue at his post. I agreed. In the spring of 1941 I 
grew more concerned and again telephoned Alden Clark. He tried to 
reassure me, as he felt it was important that men who were there in 
Hall's capacity should remain. I could not agree. I told Clark that Hall 
was young and idealistic and would of course remain if left to himself, 
but that I could not have him on my conscience if he were in Japan 
and war broke out between our countries. I was therefore planning to 
cable him to return. As Hall was sent out by Amherst, the decision 
of course rested with the College. I sent off a cable asking for a cable 
reply. In a few days I received a cable from Hall, saying he would 

relinquish his Amherst fellowship and would remain as a member of 
the Doshisha faculty on his o\vn responsibility. He had done just what 
I anticipated he might do; he was going to stay. Then I did what I 
have very seldom done. I sent him a peremptory order as president of 
Amherst to return at once and report personally to me, and again I 
asked for a cable acknowledgment. This I received. I followed this 
cable with a letter telling him that the College had sent him out, that 
he was responsible to the College, and that he would do great harm 
to the Amherst-Doshisha relationship if he accepted and followed the 
advice of the president of Doshisha when it meant disregarding positive 
instructions from Amherst. Months passed and I received no further 

A few weeks before Pearl Harbor Jack Hall walked into my office 
to report. With him was a former Amherst representative at Doshisha 
who had remained in Japan with the full approval of the College after 
finishing his tour of duty at Doshisha. They told an interesting story. 
On the receipt of my second cable Jack had resigned his post at 
Doshisha and tried to get passage to the United States. He was unsuc- 
cessful. Finally the two young men had made their way to Shanghai 
and after a long wait there had secured passage home. At Honolulu, 
where their ship stopped, they had been approached by officers of 
Military Intelligence, of Naval Intelligence, and of the F.B.I., offering 
them posts in the service of our government, based on their knowledge 
of the Japanese language. They had listened, but had wisely not com- 
mitted themselves. One of them went to theological seminary; the 
other put on uniform and entered one of the Intelligence services. 

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, we had in college another young 
man who had been born and raised in Japan, Otis Cary of the class 
of 1943. Cary was the son of Frank Cary, '11, and the grandson of 
Otis Cary, '72, both of whom had been missionaries in Japan. A little 
later Frank Cary was taken prisoner by the Japanese while he was in 
the Philippines. Otis left college and entered the Navy where he saw 
active service in the Pacific. His father was finally rescued when our 
forces recaptured Manila. After the war and after Otis had finished his 
course, he returned to Japan as the Amherst representative at Doshisha 
for a term of two years. Under the postwar program of the College he 
was appointed an instructor on the Amherst faculty and assigned to 
the Doshisha campus. At the conclusion of his term of service he re- 
turned to Amherst in the autumn of 1950 as instructor in Japanese 
Civilization for a single semester. He plans to make his career in Japan. 


Chapter IX 

We have been concerned thus far primarily with the buildings of the 
College. We must turn now to the gradual extension of the college 
campus to provide space for the growth of the physical plant and ex- 
amine the recent policy of acquiring houses for faculty occupancy. 

The college campus had its beginning, as we have seen, in a deed 
dated May 15, 181 8, given by Colonel Elijah Dickinson to the Trustees 
of Amherst Academy. The deed provided for the transfer of title to 
about nine acres of the Dickinson farm at a price of S200 per acre for 
all land in excess of three acres, on condition that "a College University 
or Classical Institution for the education of young men for the gospel 
Ministry shall be established within three years and located on the 
premises." Three acres were to be a gift. The deed was witnessed by 
the Colonel's son and by Hezekiah Wright Strong, who, as we have 
seen, was one of the three most important men in the founding of the 
College. A year later, on May 10, 181 9, Colonel Dickinson added a 
postscript to the deed under which he agreed that his gift should be 
six acres instead of three "if Williams College is located in said Am- 
herst, provided Williams College is erected on said premises." This is 
the only deed I have ever seen which contained a postscript. 

We should perhaps pause to note that the Dickinson family has been 
one of the most numerous and influential families in the town of Am- 
herst. Nathaniel Dickinson had removed from Wethersfield to Hadley 
in 1659 and was one of the original settlers. The Dickinson genealogy 
was compiled in 1 863 by Lucius M. Boltwood of the class of 1 843 and 
published while he was librarian of the College. The History of the Town 
of Amherst by Carpenter & Morehouse lists some one hundred and 
seventy-three Dickinsons in the index. If my reckoning is not at fault, 
Colonel Elijah Dickinson, whose farm now forms the bulk of the campus, 
was a third cousin once removed of Samuel Fowler Dickinson, one of the 
founders of the College, and therefore a third cousin twice removed of 
Edward Dickinson, the early treasurer of the College. 

Colonel Dickinson (i 760-1820) was one of the substantial citizens 

of the town. He had fought in the American Revolution, was prominent 
in the First Parish, and had held various offices including that of se- 
lectman. His large farm, covering some two hundred to three hundred 
acres, extended from the town common on the west all the way to 
East Street, and included therefore most of the college campus in ad- 
dition to our Wild Life Sanctuary. His fine New England house is now 
the home of the Faculty Club. Two years after executing this deed the 
Colonel died, leaving a widow and one son. 

The walls of South College were already up when the Board deemed 
it wise to perfect its title to the land on which it was building a new 
college. On November 22, 1820, Dickinson's widow and son executed a 
new deed. The price paid was $1,187.50, of which $600 (for three 
acres) came back to the Charity Fund as a gift. Seven years later, on 
December 7, 1827, the College paid S450 to the Dickinsons for about 
three acres more, including a parcel just east and a triangular parcel 
just south of the original purchase. 

In June 1828 the College bought from Deacon John Leland, then 
the college treasurer, some eleven acres on the west side of South 
Pleasant Street, including the land on which the President's House, 
Morgan Hall, and College Hall now stand. The price was $2,000. 
This property was later squared out by the purchase of some small 
parcels and the sale of lots west of the present Woodside Avenue. 

The College had thus acquired a campus of about twenty-three 
acres at a cost of a little over $3,000. Today the college campus com- 
prises a hundred acres, and the College owns, in addition, about three 
hundred and twenty acres in the town of Amherst, including Pratt 
Field, Blake Field, Hallock Grove, the Wild Life Sanctuary, the Ob- 
servatory property, the Golf Club property at Mount Doma, and some 
forty-nine faculty houses. This has been acquired through the years in 
about one hundred individual transactions, a few by gift — such as 
Pratt Field and Hallock Grove — but most by purchase. 

In the Appendix the reader will find a map drawn to approximate 
scale, corrected to 1951 by Herbert G. Johnson, comptroller, with a 
key listing each parcel and giving the date of acquisition and the 
grantor. Here we may be satisfied with comments on some of the more 
important acquisitions. 

In 1840 the town deeded to the College for its use a "portion of 
common in front of college property," upon which the Octagon was 
built. In 1866 the College bought a few acres from Lucius Boltwood, 
and in 1891, the Lucius Boltwood homestead from his estate. In 1886 
the College purchased a parcel on the eastern side of the present main 
campus from William Austin Dickinson. 

[ 195] 

Hallock Grove was given to the College in 1868 by Leavitt Hallock 
and his wife, to be maintained as a public park. Hallock was born in 
Plainfield where he later carried on a farm, a tannery, and a country 
store. Subsequently he moved to Amherst for the purpose of educating 
his two sons, who graduated in the classes of 1855 and 1863, and both 
of whom became ministers. The father did much to beautify the town. 
He purchased the Baker farm, laid out Snell Street, and circled the 
grove which he gave the College with a gravel road, later abandoned 
when the railway was put through. It is not generally known that "Old 
Doc" owned a small parcel adjoining the Hallock land and gave it 
to the College at this time. In his notebooks is an entry that "of the 
few gifts which I ever made to anybody or anything in this world, 
this was the least appreciated." And later he adds, "Only I had a 
freak & reserved the two largest pine trees, which I wanted to put 
into lumber which I could work up into something to commemorate 
the old grove where I had spent so much happy time. It was sawed 
into good clean lumber, but it all went I don't know where." 

The first dwelling house bought by the College was the Boyden 
house, purchased in 1873 from John D. Boyden and located at the foot 
of College Hill on the site of Kirby Memorial Theater. As we have 
seen, it was used for a time as a college boarding house, and at other 
times was rented to a member of the faculty. For a third of a century 
it was occupied by Professor and Mrs. Hopkins. In 1937 it was moved 
to 58 Woodside Avenue to make way for the theater. When we moved 
the house, we discovered that though it appeared to be a clapboarded 
frame structure, it was a solidly built brick house with a clapboard 

It was nearly a score of years before the College bought its second 
house. In 1892 it acquired the property at 31 College Street, which it 
rented for a third of a century to Professor and Mrs. Harry deForest 
Smith. It has since been made the official house of the Director of 
Dining Halls, Gordon Bridges, so that he may be close to Valentine 
Hall. The story of the Observatory House, acquired in 1 898, has al- 
ready been told in connection with the Observatory. These three 
houses were the only ones owned by the College at the turn of the 

During the Harris administration (1899-19 12) the College bought 
four houses: 

1902 — 197 South Pleasant Street, now occupied by Professor Salmon; 
1 909 — the Richardson house just west of the present 3 1 College Street; 
since torn down 

igi I — 95 College Street, later the official house of the Superintendent 

of Buildings and Grounds; 
1 91 2 — the Houghton house, bought from Phi Delta Theta and since 

torn down 

These purchases, Hke the earHer ones, were made to control the real 
estate rather than to house faculty members. 

During the Meiklejohn administration the College acquired fifteen 
houses, of which three were later taken down. Meiklejohn was finding 
it difficult to attract men to the faculty unless he could offer them a 
place to live. He brought this to the attention of the Board and some 
of his friends. One of the latter was Frank L. Babbott, Jr., of the 
class of 1 91 3. Babbott bought a tract of land on Dana Street, and 
erected three houses excellently suited for faculty occupancy. In addi- 
tion, he built a larger house on the east side of South Pleasant Street 
near the present site of the Alumni Gymnasium. These four houses he 
presented to the College. The house on South Pleasant Street was later 
moved to 22 Hitchcock Road to make way for the gymnasium. The 
architect for these houses was Lionel Moses, an associate in the firm 
of McKim, Mead & White. 

Another house given to the College at this time was the property at 
205 South Pleasant Street, acquired in 191 4 with funds contributed 
for the purpose by a group of trustees, and now occupied by Miss 
Kimball, the Recorder. 

During its first century the College had, therefore, acquired twenty- 
two houses, in addition to the president's house. Six had been gifts. 
Five had been or were soon to be taken down, and two were later 
moved. There is no indication that purchases were made in accord 
with any long-range policy. All of the acquisitions were within the 
long-range policy later adopted by the Board except the three Dana 
Street houses given by Babbott. These are outside the area within 
which the College later decided to limit its purchases. 

It was not until 1 924 that the Board initiated a serious study of its 
possible future needs in the field of real estate. The impetus for such a 
study came from Morrow and me. We first had a map prepared show- 
ing what the College already owned. Then Morrow and I examined 
thoroughly the land to the west of the campus, and I tramped over 
the land to the east and south. Treasurer Kidder prepared tables for 
us, showing the present ownership and assessed valuation of the parcels 
within the area of our map which were held outside the college. And 
we had aerial photographs made of the land to the east, south, and 
west. It was clear to both of us that Amherst, like most other New 


England colleges, had not been far-sighted in the acquisition of land 
adjoining the campus to provide for possible future needs. 

As a result of our study, we proposed to the Board that the College 
ought in time to acquire all of the land not then owned by it within 
the area bounded on the north by College Street, on the east by the 
Central Vermont Railroad, on the south by the Boston & Maine 
Railroad, and on the west by South Pleasant Street. In addition, we 
suggested that it acquire all property on the west side of South Pleasant 
Street, from Northampton Road to the Boston & Maine Railroad. We 
added that further extensions of our property to the east and south 
and west were under study. The Board approved in principle. 

The first property acquired under the program was the present 
Faculty Club, then the home of Sidney D. White. This had once been 
the home of Judge John Dickinson and in 1818 the home of Colonel 
Elijah Dickinson. The only terms on which we could purchase were 
that White should retain a life estate for his wife and himself A little 
later we acquired his extensive holdings east of the Central Vermont 
Railroad and extending to East Street, now the Wild Life Sanctuary. 
These purchases were negotiated by Herbert J. Kellaway, our land- 
scape architect, who took title in his own name. The same year (1924) 
we purchased the property at 297 South Pleasant Street, now occupied 
by Professor Packard. 

Before proceeding further I sought the assistance of three Amherst 
men, two of them graduates of the College: Arthur H. Dakin, '84, 
Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, and Cady R. Elder. Each of them handled 
a series of negotiations for the College. They knew the properties we 
were interested in acquiring, they knew the owners, and they were 
experienced negotiators. Gradually we continued our purchases. A few 
properties we bought subject to life estates, most were acquired outright. 
The only life estate now outstanding is Mrs. Kingman's in the property 
at 271 South Pleasant Street, once the home of President Hitchcock. 
The octagonal wing to this house had been added by Hitchcock 
shortly before the Octagon was erected on the campus. In time we 
acquired title to all the frontage on the west side of South Pleasant 
Street from Northampton Road to a point well south of the Boston 
& Maine Railroad, except the estate of Mr. Dakin. 

When the College owned only a few scattered houses which it rented 
to members of the faculty, no serious problems were presented. A 
rental was agreed on, and the professor and his family moved in. But 
when the College had acquired a substantial number of houses, a dif- 
ferent situation was presented. If several members of the faculty ap- 
plied for the same house, some authority must determine which pro- 

fessor should have the house. Even more difficult was the question of 
fixing rentals for different houses in different locations, houses of dif- 
ferent size and age and convenience. 

As the working member of the Buildings and Grounds Committee, 
I asked the treasurer for a list of the houses owned, the cost of each to 
the College, the assessed value of each, the rental charged by the 
College, and the tenant. I also requested the treasurer to calculate what 
net income after taxes, insurance, and repairs the College was earning 
on each house. Treasurer Kidder was reluctant to prepare this table, 
saying that other trustees had asked for this information but had 
dropped the matter when they found that the problem was a thorny 
one. I replied that I did not intend to drop the problem, but to search 
for a formula which would provide a satisfactory working solution. 
Kidder then prepared the tables. A brief study of the facts satisfied me 
that the schedule of rentals which had gradually grown up was unsatis- 
factory to the College because it did not provide even a minimum net 
income on the funds invested. In addition, it was obviously full of in- 
consistencies. It was not based either on relative costs or relative as- 
sessed values, or on relative size, or on the relative ability of the faculty 
tenants to pay. A full professor who had been on the faculty for years 
and was earning a full professor's salary, I found, was occupying a 
large house in a strategic location close to the College and paying a 
lower rent than a young member of the faculty in a junior rank living 
at some distance from the College in a smaller house. Of course ill 
feeling and a sense of injustice was the result. I discussed the matter 
with President Olds and he said he would welcome a solution which 
resulted from an impartial study of the facts by a trustee. He preferred 
not to participate in the study. 

With his approval and with the approval of the Board, I appointed 
a committee to make the study. On the committee I named W. R. 
Brown, a leading real estate agent of the town and a graduate of Dart- 
mouth, Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, the president of the First National 
Bank of Amherst, who was thoroughly familiar with real estate values 
in the town. Professor Charles E. Bennett, '05, who owned his own 
home. Professor Otto Manthey-Zorn, who occupied a college-owned 
house, and Henry B. Thacher, superintendent of Buildings and 
Grounds, whom I named chairman. Thacher was a man of great 
patience, thorough in his work, impartial in judgment, and he knew 
the houses better than anyone else. I gave him a free hand to handle 
his committee, asking him only to obtain, if possible, a report which 
commanded the unanimous approval of his committee. 

The committee submitted an excellent report after a comprehensive 

[ 199] 

study, and the report was unanimous. The committee recommended a 
few reductions in rental and a large number of increases. In addition 
it suggested a uniform procedure as to repairs. The report was sub- 
mitted to President Olds and then to the Board and was approved 
without dissent. The changes in rental were to go into effect at the 
beginning of the next college year. 

Only one professor protested, and the president asked me to handle 
the matter. I came to Amherst and had a long conference with him. 
At the close he admitted that he did not have a leg to stand on. The 
professor who had the largest increase in rent told me he was entirely 
satisfied. He had long felt that his rent was too low proportionately, 
but as a born Yankee he had not felt it was his duty to ask to have it 
increased. The committee had done an excellent job. 

At the request of the president, the allocation of houses in the future 
was assigned to the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board, 
where it remained until I became president. Of course the committee 
conferred with the president before making an allocation. 

The purchase of the White farm had protected us east of the Central 
Vermont Railroad, but the tract of farm land just south of the Boston 
& Maine Railroad which had formerly belonged to Professor Tucker- 
man was now held by a resident of North Amherst, Walter Cowls. 
It had been offered to the College many years before, when the 
Tuckerman estate was being settled, but the trustees had not felt 
justified in investing college funds at the time. We now learned that 
Cowls was contemplating the erection of one or more onion warehouses 
on the property with a side track from the railroad station. If he carried 
out this project, the warehouses would be directly south of the college 
campus and in the direct line of vision as one looked south to the great 
panorama of the Holyoke Range. 

With the tacit approval of the Board, I asked Whitcomb to purchase 
the property for the College, if it could be acquired at a reasonable 
price. Cowls owned two large tracts of farm land south of the Boston 
& Maine, extending east for some distance, in addition to a block of 
farm land between the tracks of the Boston & Maine and the Central 
Vermont, just east of our holdings at the east end of Hitchcock Field. 
The property contained about eighty acres with a large frontage on 
South Pleasant Street; there were no buildings except an old barn. 
As long as the property remained in outside hands, we would always 
be subject to the threat of a warehouse or other commercial develop- 
ment in the center of our finest view. With the purchase of the property 
we would be protected for all future time to the south. 

In my conference with Whitcomb I learned that Cowls was regarded 
[ 200] 

as the shrewdest trader in the valley. He was a man already in his 
middle seventies, a large owner of real estate, a lumberman, and was 
reputed to be worth nearly three-quarters of a million dollars. Whit- 
comb put the matter in a sentence by adding that Walter Cowls was 
as good a horse trader as David Harum. 

A few days later Whitcomb telephoned me in Boston to tell me of his 
talk with Cowls. When he had broached the subject to Cowls, the 
latter had replied, "You aren't really interested in that land, Mr. 
Whitcomb. Stanley King wants it for the College. Tell him he will 
have to trade directly with me." 

"Cowls wins the first point," I replied. "Ask him if he will meet me 
Saturday morning next at your bank." Whitcomb arranged the con- 
ference and on Saturday I drove to Amherst to meet for the first time 
one of the ablest traders I have ever met. 

Whitcomb introduced us and placed the directors' room at our dis- 
posal. I faced a lanky man of well over six feet in height, with a 
weather-beaten face and a sad aspect. He was not loquacious, and he 
waited for me to open the conversation. 

"Mr. Cowls," I began, "I am told that you are the shrewdest trader 
in Western Massachusetts that you have had long experience in buying 
and selling real estate, that you know every rule in the book, and that 
I must watch my step at every point and keep my hand on my pocket- 
book. They tell me that if you sit next to a man with whom you are 
trading, he does not know his leg has been broken till he tries to rise." 
Cowls smiled a wan smile and said, "I'm not as good as that." 

"I have found out all about you," I continued, "and I am told that 
you give no quarter. You don't know me, but let me tell you that I 
am just as hard a trader as you. I am trading for the College and every 
dollar counts. No holds, I understand, are barred, and it is each man 
for himself." 

Cowls gave me another wan smile and I continued, "The College is 
interested in buying your holdings of land south of the Boston & Maine 
if the price is fair. I understand from the fact that you are here to meet 
me that you are interested in selling. If this is so, then there is only one 
question to negotiate and that is the price. Let me say that we are not 
interested in buying a part of your land at any price. It is all or nothing, 
by which I mean all the land south of the Boston & Maine and all 
the land between the two railroads." 

"How many acres do you own in these lots and what is your price?" 
I concluded. 

Cowls wasted no words. He said he owned eighty acres and he named 
his price. 

[201 ] 

I laughed and laughed. Then I waited and at last he had to speak. 
"What's funny?" he said. 

"I am afraid you didn't understand me," I said. "I am acting for 
the College. It is college money we are talking about. You are not 
trading with a rich man from New York, but with Amherst College. 
Your price does not offer a basis for negotiation. I understood you to 
say you were interested in selling. If you want to sell to the College, 
you must begin again." 

We parted and agreed to meet again in two weeks. This began a 
series of conferences which lasted for a year. Whenever I was coming to 
Amherst on other matters, I would arrange to see him. We always 
met in the same place. Finally we were only two thousand dollars 
apart, and neither would budge. It looked like a stalemate. 

We had a final meeting at the bank. "You are an obstinate man," 
I said. "I have enjoyed our meetings, but it looks to me like no trade. 
You and I are mortal, but the College lives forever. Perhaps you would 
like to wait and let the College trade with your heirs." 

Then I offered to match him. 

"One toss, or two out of three?" he said. 

"Either you wish," I replied. "We will let the cashier of the bank 
take a coin from the till and toss it. You call. If you win, I will pay 
your price. If you lose, you accept my price," 

"I never tossed for as much as two thousand dollars," he replied. 
"Neither did I," I replied. 

"What would the trustees of the College say?" 

"If I win, they will say 'stout fellow.' If I lose, they will say you 
had me." 

He declined. I rose and said good-bye and we left the room together. 
He walked out of the bank and I stopped to speak to Whitcomb. 

"Have you traded?" asked Whitcomb. I shook my head. 

"Don't let him go," said Whitcomb. "You want the land." 

"I don't want it at his price," I said. "Besides, he hasn't gone. He 
is still standing on the curbstone in front of the bank." Whitcomb re- 
turned to his desk, and I stood behind a pillar for ten minutes watching 
the tall figure on the sidewalk. Then he turned slowly and walked 
back into the bank. We returned to the directors' room and I waited 
for him to open the conversation. 

"What would you do," said Cowls, "if I came down one thousand 

"I would buy," I replied. And we shook hands. 

"How much of a deposit do you wish, Mr. Cowls, to bind the bar- 

"None," he replied. 

"Unsatisfactory," I said. "VVe both know that the trade is not bind- 
ing unless I make a deposit and you sign a proper receipt. If this is 
a trade, I want it a binding one. Otherwise, it is just conversa- 

I went to the cashier and drew $500 on memorandum, drew a formal 
receipt, and the transaction was completed. 

"There is one condition," said Cowls as he accepted the money, 
"the price must be confidential. I am ashamed of selling this land so 

"I am chagrined at paying so high a price," I replied; "no one but 
the treasurer and the trustees will know what the price is." 

As I look back at the purchase now, after the lapse of a quarter of a 
century, the price seems to have been a fair one for both parties. 
Cowls and I had come to know each other fairly well in the course of 
the year. I was therefore pleased to have him say that if the College 
wished later to buy any of the adjacent farm land, he would be glad 
to act as our representative without charging a commission. 

At the same time that these negotiations were in progress, we worked 
out plans for a new street running from the Cage to the main entrance 
to Pratt Field. The plans were drawn by Herbert J. Kellaway, our 
landscape architect, and implied the razing of the old Delta Upsilon 
House on South Pleasant Street which had been acquired by the Col- 
lege when the fraternity built its new house next door to the Lord 
Jeffery Inn. The program was approved by the Board and the project 
carried through. The Rink House, which stood just east of the entrance 
to Pratt Field and which had been given by Charles M. Pratt, was 
moved to the north side of Pratt Field to serve as a field house for 
visiting teams. 

The College then offered to sell the lots on the new Hitchcock Road 
to members of the faculty who might wish to build, and to loan them 
ninety-five per cent of the cost of building, secured by first mortgage 
with a provision for the gradual amortization of the debt over a period 
of thirty years. In addition, the College offered to pay one-half of the 
architect's fees, provided the teacher selected Allen H. Cox as architect. 
Five houses were built by faculty members under this program; the 
Olds house given by the alumni was built on the northwest corner; 
and the house given by Frank L. Babbott, Jr., on the site of the present 
Alumni Gymnasium was later moved to its present location on the 
south side of Hitchcock Road. Subsequently, due to resignations and 
other reasons, the College bought back three of the houses, but two 
of the professors elected not to sell back to the College and retained 


title to their properties. Hitchcock Road has made a charming addition 
to this residential section and of course is indispensable as a thorough- 
fare between the physical education buildings and Pratt Field. It was 
later accepted by the town as a town road to be maintained by the 

At the same time the College made two other proposals to the town, 
which were approved by the voters at town meeting. The town re- 
linquished its rights to the end of Dickinson Street which extended into 
the campus in front of the heating plant, and this became a college 
road. The town also voted "to authorize the selectmen to eliminate as a 
traveled roadway that portion of Boltwood Avenue, so-called, running 
southerly from College Street, and to relinquish the same together 
with so much of the center common as lies between College Street 
and the present entrance to the grounds of Amherst College from South 
Pleasant Street, to the trustees of Amherst College upon their accept- 
ance of the conditions of this vote, to be under their care and use for 
park purposes only . . . and that no title resting with the town is in 
any manner hereby conveyed, and that the entire area shall at all 
times be neatly cared for and maintained." Since that time (March 7, 
1927) the College has cared for this portion of the common. 

Two ambitious projects were studied with great care at about this 
time and then dropped. One was a suggestion that originated with 
Morrow and interested him greatly. We called it, as I have said, the 
Via Morrow. In substance. Morrow suggested that the College build a 
wide mall running from the foot of College Hill and centered on the 
Chapel and extending through to Northampton Road. The project 
would have required the purchase of a number of properties and the 
razing or moving of a large number of fine dwellings. The cost would 
of course have been very high, and the other needs of the College were 
so pressing that this project could have been seriously considered only 
if some man of large resources wished to undertake it at his own ex- 
pense. While Morrow was intrigued by the idea, he was himself more 
interested in giving for the more immediate needs of the institution, 
particularly in the field of the endowment of professorships. 

The other project for which I made preliminary studies was equally 
ambitious. I do not remember who suggested it, but the Board was 
interested in having it investigated. It was to purchase the old mill and 
dam on the Freshman River near the Freshman River bridge on the 
road to the Notch, rebuild and raise the dam, and thus create a large 
lake extending north and east and flooding a substantial amount of 
farm land. Only the Pratt brothers would have been able to finance 
such a development, and we made no progress in interesting them. 

We knew that Andrew Carnegie had given a lake to Princeton and 
we were receptive to a similar generous gesture toward Amherst. 

As I recall these studies now after the lapse of a quarter of a century, 
I realize that they were dreams engendered by the climate of the decade. 
In the middle 'twenties, when the College had just raised $3,000,000 
and when the wave of prosperity was mounting higher and higher, any- 
thing seemed within the range of possibility. 

More immediate was the problem of providing hard-surfaced road- 
ways for the campus, proper walks, a comprehensive program of plant- 
ing, and a lighting system to replace the wires that had been strung 
from tree to tree. Studies were prepared and estimates secured. The 
cost was of the order of magnitude of $150,000. A prospective donor 
was selected and Plimpton attempted to interest him in undertaking 
the project as a whole. The donor was interested and asked for more 
details. Then came the catastrophic break in the stock market of 
October 1929, and the prospective donor begged to be excused from 
further consideration of the proposal. With the exception of some 
campus lights installed in 1937, the project was deferred until the 
hurricane of 1938 made action essential. 

Meanwhile George Pratt was becoming more and more interested 
in the development of the campus. As he reflected on the changes which 
had taken place since the class of 1893 had fathered a comprehensive 
plan for development by a Fine Arts Commission, he came to the con- 
clusion that a new study by outside experts would be useful and he 
offered to finance it to the extent of $25,000. His proposal included the 
preparation of a scale model of the campus and buildings. For such a 
program it was desirable to secure the services of the leading landscape 
architect of the country with large experience in long-range planning. 
After making careful inquiry I came to the conclusion that Arthur A. 
Shurcliff of Boston was the best equipped by experience and ability 
for such a project. Shurcliff was in the midst of his work in the restora- 
tion of Williamsburg, Virginia, financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., 
and his name appealed to Pratt. I consulted Mr. Mead to secure his 
approval. Mead did not know Shurcliff personally and suggested his 
friend Charles Piatt. Piatt, it turned out, was abroad for an indefinite 
stay and Mead then at once approved Shurcliff. The Board approved 
and Shurcliff began his studies. 

At Williamsburg, Shurcliff worked in cooperation with the Boston 
firm of architects of Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, and suggested their 
names to Pratt. Pratt proposed to the Board that the Boston firm co- 
operate in the planning, and as McKim, Mead & White were our 
college architects, he suggested that they be made consulting architects. 


This posed a problem of extreme delicacy to the Board. The Mead 
firm had been our architects for a generation and more, but for some 
reason Pratt had developed a prejudice against them. As he was to 
pay for the studies, he felt entitled to select his own architects. And as a 
matter of fact, the different buildings given to the College by the 
various Pratt brothers had none of them been designed by the Mead 
firm. In each case, as we have seen, the Pratt brother who was making 
the gift had selected an architect of his own choice. The Board met the 
dilemma by accepting Pratt's proposal, but providing in the resolution 
of acceptance that the College was to be under no obligation whatever 
to the Boston firm. 

The project was completed under Pratt's general supervision. The 
Boston architects knew little of the history of the College and were not 
particularly interested in the background story of its existing buildings. 
They came to the College very seldom and most of the conferences 
were held in their offices in Boston. The president of the College and 
the other members of the Buildings and Grounds Committee had little 
influence in the development of the program. The architects naturally 
looked to Pratt, who had initiated the project and was paying for it. 

The master plan and the model provided for the removal of a num- 
ber of existing buildings, including Walker Hall and Williston, the 
erection of a large new administration building on the site of Walker, 
the erection of a large auditorium, north of College Street, on land not 
then and not now owned by the College, and for a number of other 
changes in the college plant which were not the result of careful study 
of the College's needs. Sketch plans were prepared of all new buildings 
suggested, and even a cursory examination of these plans indicated 
that no adequate study had been made of what was to be included in 
each building or of the element of cost. When the project was com- 
pleted, the College received a beautiful scale model showing the campus 
and adjoining real estate. On it were placed delightful scale models of 
existing buildings that were to be permitted to remain, as well as 
similar models of the many new buildings proposed. And the model 
was enhanced with miniature trees, paths, and other decorative fea- 
tures. In addition, we received a large portfolio of architects' drawings 
and preliminary scale drawings of the new buildings proposed. 

The model was beautifully made at great expense, and of course the 
architect's plans were of a high order of artistic excellence. But neither 
model nor plans were responsive to a careful study of the actual needs 
of the College. They were not, in fact, relevant to the College of 1 930 
or to the financial and economic facts of a society in the midst of a 
severe depression. Only a Maecenas could have carried them out, and 

if he had done so he would have deprived Amherst of much of the 
physical record in bricks and stone of its early struggles. The entire 
project was another demonstration of the generous impulses of a de- 
voted son of the College, and a demonstration, in addition, of the un- 
wisdom of placing the planning and the selection of architects in the 
hands of a donor. Pratt's expenditure of $25,000 for this project gave 
him, I am sure, great pleasure personally. It did very little for his alma 
mater, and it left the Board with a difficult problem which was solved 
some years later after I became president of the College. 


Chapter X 

On June 30, 1932, my wife and I drove from Boston to Amherst 
where I was to assume the responsibilities of the presidency the follow- 
ing day. It was a beautiful summer day and as we came down the 
road from Belchertown to make the turn into College Street, we saw a 
large truck coming in the opposite direction. It was loaded with 
crushed stone for road building. As it made the turn from College 
Street toward Belchertown without slowing down, showers of crushed 
rock were thrown with considerable force and peppered the windshield 
and glass deflectors on our open Packard runabout. Fortunately, 
neither of us was hit. I remarked to Mrs. King as we drove up College 
Street to the College that I had expected as president to have some 
brickbats thrown at me from time to time, but that it came as a surprise 
to have the throwing start before we had arrived in town. The following 
morning, while my car was parked in front of Walker Hall, the treasurer 
of the College dropped in on me at my office to tell me that an aged 
alumnus had backed into my car and ruined a fender and was deeply 
distressed to learn that the car belonged to the new president. I set 
the mind of the alumnus at rest by saying that this was just an incident 
of the office I had assumed and that he need not give the matter another 
thought. Apparently the gods did not wish me to be guilty of 'ubris. 
During the fourteen years that we spent in the president's office we 
had no further untoward incidents; our initiation was over. 

The only problem in buildings and grounds to engage our immediate 
attention was that of arranging with the superintendent, Mr. Thacher, 
for putting the president's house in condition to receive our furniture 
by the end of the summer; this was handled by Mrs. King. As we were 
in the trough of the severe depression, only the essential things were 
to be done. 

In the next few days Thacher and I made a complete inspection of 
every building on the campus. In each building we inspected every 
room, as well as cellar and attic. It was more than a dozen years since 
I had made a similar comprehensive and complete inspection. Then I 

was an alumnus gathering facts for a report to the alumni body in 
preparation for the campaign for the Centennial Gift. Now I was 
president with the responsibility for the plant. It was clear that our 
Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board had made only a 
beginning in the program of rehabilitation, but what we had accom- 
plished had been soundly done and furnished a good foundation for 
the further work that lay ahead of us. The immediate problem was 
not primarily where to begin, but where to find the money to do what 
had to be done. The income of the College was shrinking, the demands 
on the budget for more scholarship funds were increasing, and gifts 
were hard to come by. 

Furthermore, it was clear that during the past eleven years my re- 
sponsibilities as trustee had centered in buildings and grounds. Now 
as president, I faced all the problems of administering a going college. 
Now I had a student body, a faculty, an alumni organization, as well 
as a Board of Trustees, with whom I was to work. For the problems 
of the plant I should have only the odds and ends of my time available. 
The problem was complicated by the fact that my friend, George 
Pratt, who was continued by the Board as chairman of the Buildings 
and Grounds Committee, was in poor health and was able to do less 
and less in this field, although he continued to hold the chairmanship 
until his death in 1935. 

The Board met the situation by appointing a special committee to 
deal with each building problem presented by the president. The 
members were Lucius R. Eastman, '95, chairman, Robert W. Maynard, 
'02, and Pratt. Pratt was seldom able to attend the meetings of the 
committee, and the work was carried forward effectively by Eastman 
and Maynard. Eastman and Maynard were both lawyers who had 
spent most of their mature lives in business. Eastman had headed for 
many years the Hills Brothers Company of New York, which was 
controlled by his wife's family and which had made its reputation in 
the importation and distribution of dates. Maynard, after a brilliant 
career at the Harvard Law School, had entered the employ of R. H. 
Stearns Company of Boston and was now its president. 

When I became president, the problem of finding funds with which 
to build devolved largely upon me. George A. Plimpton, who for a 
third of a century had assumed the primary responsibility in this field, 
was now seventy-seven years old. He told me that he had raised enough 
money for the College, and when I asked him who was to attempt to 
take his place, he indicated that this was a challenge to the new presi- 
dent. I did what I could in this field from then on. 

The problem of dealing with a large plant, as one learns from ex- 


perience, is largely one of detail. The architect can submit designs 
that are architecturally sound and aesthetically attractive; the landscape 
architect can prepare a good planting plan. But unless the representa- 
tive of the owner (in this case the College) sees that the program is 
w^orked out in great detail to meet the specific needs of the department 
or departments for which the building is to be built, the results will be 
unsatisfactory. And every building involves new problems of detail. 
A president can delegate this to members of his staff or can assume the 
responsibility himself I preferred to follow the example of President 
Lowell of Harvard, who made over the Harvard plant during his ad- 
ministration and who followed in detail the execution of his building 

For the fourteen years which followed, therefore, I continued to 
tramp through our buildings, to walk about the campus, to inspect all 
work in process, and to keep in direct personal touch with every aspect 
of building and maintenance. Sometimes I did this at the end of the 
day's work in the president's office, sometimes before beginning work 
in the morning, sometimes I interrupted my office routine by going to 
a new building in process of erection to inspect its progress. I climbed 
construction ladders, I walked along parapets, I knew our own men 
and most of the foremen of the contractors whom we employed. And 
always I carried a little black book in which I noted the items which 
seemed to me to need attention. Before one building was finished, my 
mind was working on plans for the next and on ways to finance it. 
When an alumnus arrived in town who might be a prospective donor, 
I would take him around the campus in my car and point out some 
new need of the College. When a trustee dropped in at my office to 
discuss some of the problems of the College, I would try to get him 
out on the campus, when we had finished our talk, so that he might 
see for himself the work in process and its implications for future work. 
In every interim report to the Board I included a report of progress on 
the plant. I made periodic reports to the faculty on what was being 
done and what was in prospect. And I received the most complete 
cooperation from trustees, faculty, alumni, and from the undergraduate 
body when I asked them for assistance. Without this support we could 
not have begun to accomplish what we did before the program was 
interrupted by the war. 

During my first year in office I proposed three projects to the Board 
in the field of buildings and grounds, and all were approved: house 
libraries in the four dormitories, the reconstruction of Johnson Chapel, 
and the Davenport Squash Building. We may well take them in this 
order. In addition, I asked the Alumni Council to appoint a special 

committee to study the problem of whether the College should assume 
responsibility for providing meals for the students, and if the answer of 
the committee was in the affirmative, what steps the College should 
take to meet the responsibility. Under date of May 5, 1933, the com- 
mittee presented a report which was printed by the College and circu- 
lated to trustees, faculty, and alumni. 

Early in the year I visited Harvard where President Lowell con- 
sented to show me over the new Harvard Houses. I found that he knew 
the Harvard building program in all its details. We visited the studies 
and bedrooms, the common rooms, the dining rooms, kitchens, and 
serving pantries, and the underground tunnels connecting the kitchens 
to the serving pantries. The libraries in the new Harvard Houses in- 
terested me particularly. These libraries were designed to expose stu- 
dents to books in their college homes, and in addition it was expected 
that they would take a part of the load off the great Widener Library. 
It seemed to me that Amherst might well do the same, though on a 
smaller scale commensurate with our size and our resources. I believed 
strongly in the idea that we should accustom students to the notion 
that books were an essential part of their homes. And I realized that 
the main reading room in Converse Library was becoming over- 
crowded. Why might we not plan to install a house library in each of 
the four dormitories, and ultimately perhaps have one in each fra- 
ternity house? Ours must, of course, be on a simpler scale. Amherst 
had no Harkness to meet the costs of such a program. 

Soon after my return from my visit to Harvard, I presented the sug- 
gestion to the Executive Committee of the Board at its meeting in 
January 1933, and at the April meeting the Committee gave its ap- 
proval to a program of four house libraries for the existing dormitories, 
provided I could secure the necessary funds. I had hoped that Mrs. 
Charles M. Pratt would wish to start the program by making the com- 
mon room in Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory into a library, but the 
suggestion did not seem to appeal to her and my powers of persuasion 
were not adequate to the occasion. 

Then my wife suggested to me that we two might begin with North 
College. My father had lived in North sixty years earlier; I had lived 
there in my own freshman year; and my son had lived there in his 
sophomore year. I suggested to him that we join in presenting a li- 
brary to North in memory of my father and his grandfather, and he 
was enthusiastic in joining with me in the proposal. In June, therefore, 
I wrote a letter to the Alumni Council offering a gift of $5,000 from 
my son and myself for the project. The library occupies two rooms 
on the first floor, south entry, is paneled simply in pine, has two fire- 


places, and has a simple dignity in keeping with the building. It was 
designed by Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21, of New York, whose father 
was at the time a trustee of the College. The memorial tablet in pine, 
with incised letters, records that the room is given in memory of 
Henry A. King of the Class of 1873. My wife selected the furnishings 
and hangings for the room, and together we chose the initial list of 
books, to which we have added from time to time. The total cost was 

Mrs. King and I have affectionately called the Henry A. King 
Library in North the little acorn out of which grew the other larger 
and more elaborate libraries in the other dormitories. Before the King 
Library was finished I showed it to my friend, James Turner, '80. 
He was delighted with it and most generous in his praise. He asked 
me why I had not given him the opportunity to build it. I told him 
the opportunity was his if he wished it, for he had lived in South 
College and South had no house library. He asked me to proceed at 
once. Woodbridge designed the James Turner Library to suit Turner's 
taste, and the cost was about $6,700. Turner gave, in addition, an 
endowment for the purchase of books and some valuable prints for 
the walls. 

When Mrs. Morrow saw the libraries in North and South, she asked 
for the privilege of installing a house library in Morrow Dormitory, 
and she inspected Morrow to see whether the common room could 
be adapted for the purpose. Woodbridge happened to be in Amherst 
the day of her visit, and she asked him to make plans for a library in 
memory of her late husband. The Dwight W. Morrow Library in 
Morrow is extraordinarily beautiful and is beautifully furnished. The 
books represent particularly the fields of history, economics, and gov- 
ernment in which Morrow himself was interested. And Mrs. Morrow 
presented to the Morrow Library a number of important books in 
these fields from Morrow's own library. At the dedication Robert 
Frost was the speaker. The cost of the library was $1 1,400. 

At about the same time, Mrs. Olds presented to the College the 
mathematical library of the late President Olds. This was installed 
as the George Daniel Olds Library of Mathematics in a room in 
Walker Hall. Mrs. Olds and the children presented the room with the 
desk, desk chair, and pictures from President Olds' study and a por- 
trait in oil of the late president by Ernest L. Ipsen. 

In 1935, Richardson Pratt, '15, brother of the late Morris Pratt, 
looked over the libraries in North, South, and Morrow, and told his 
mother that the Morris Pratt Memorial Dormitory was now the only 
one without a house library. Mrs. Pratt promptly asked if she might 

Johnson Chapel in the early 1900's 

The Chapel after rcmojieling in 1.4)4 

Interior of Johnson Chapel before remodeling 

Si.mley King presiding in the remodeled Chapel 

give a library. Hers was designed by James Kellum Smith, '15, of 
the firm of McKim, Mead & White, a classmate of her son, Richardson. 
The Morris Pratt Library is the largest and most luxurious of the house 
libraries, and was completed at the end of the year 1935. We have 
no complete figures of cost for the Pratt Library, as many of the bills 
were paid directly by Mrs. Pratt. In 1946, when James and Stearns 
Halls were built, house libraries were included in the original design. 
We must return now to the spring of 1933 when I suggested to the 
Board a program for remodeling Johnson Chapel. This building seemed 
to many of us the most important on the college campus, and I wished 
to make it a real center of the College. I proposed to the Board that the 
building be extended fourteen feet to the east to provide new fireproof 
stairways and proper space for organ and choir, that a facade be added 
at the east consistent with the fine western front, that all of the offices 
of academic administration including the president's office be moved 
to the Chapel, that a new organ be installed, that the chapel room be 
redecorated, that cushions be added to the pews, a new pulpit pro- 
vided, and new space for the choir. The proposal was referred to the 
special committee of Eastman, Maynard, and Pratt for study and was 
subsequently approved. 

In presenting the matter to the Board I made clear that my proposal 
was a project for remodeling a building and did not involve the vexed 
question of church and chapel attendance or any question in the field 
of religion. These related questions had been discussed in faculty and 
Board for many years; opinion was divided in both bodies. Like many 
questions in the broad field of religion, they had resulted in the genera- 
tion of considerable heat whenever they had been discussed. I added, 
however, that if the Board approved my recommendation for the re- 
modeling of Johnson Chapel, I intended, when the work was com- 
pleted, to transfer the Sunday Vesper Service from Stearns Church 
to Johnson Chapel under the general executive authority vested in the 
president. The result of this action would be that Stearns Church 
would stand idle. When I had finished my presentation of the problem 
to the Board, Chief Justice Rugg inquired whether he was correct in 
his understanding that I was presenting a recommendation in the field 
of buildings and grounds and nothing more. I answered in the affirma- 
tive. There was no further debate. The Board approved. My corre- 
spondence file includes a number of letters from individual members of 
the Board recording their great satisfaction that I had been able to 
settle the problem which had vexed the Board for some time, by pre- 
senting a recommendation for the remodeling of a building. 

Nearly twenty years have passed since this action by the Board. 


Stearns Church, except for the spire, was taken down in 1 948 during 
the administration of my successor. It is difficult now to reahze how 
strong the feelings of certain members of the Board were in 1933. 
My own view was that the president was in charge of the church and 
chapel program of the College, that neither Board nor faculty could 
administer a required program of attendance in the climate of under- 
graduate opinion which then existed in the College, and that the presi- 
dent should be free to hold the church and chapel services where he 
thought best. I considered it wiser to hold both the daily service and the 
Sunday service in the same building for reasons which seemed to me 
persuasive both in theory and practice. 

The founders of the College had believed that religion was an essen- 
tial part of everyday life and had held both the daily and the Sunday 
service in the chapel room which was modeled after the early New 
England meeting house. It was not until the middle of the century that 
Amherst, in company with many other colleges, had erected a separate 
building, usually of modified Gothic architecture, for the Sunday 
service Personally, I preferred the conception of the founders. But 
there was another facet to the problem that was more troublesome. 

The deed of gift of Stearns Church, as we have seen in an earlier 
chapter, had provided that the preacher should always profess the 
doctrines held by the founders, that is to say, a strict Calvinism as in- 
terpreted by Jonathan Edwards. This condition had been accepted by 
the Board when the gift was made. The Supreme Judicial Court of 
the Commonwealth, in an opinion written by Chief Justice Rugg of 
the Amherst Board, had decided only a few years before, in the Andover 
case, that the governing board of an educational institution was bound 
by conditions imposed by the donor and accepted by the Board at the 
time of the gift. It was, of course, true that the Amherst Board had not 
been following these conditions imposed by the donor, and as far as I 
could find, no member of the Board had been aware of the conditions 
imposed more than half a century before. But the College now had a 
president who had been trained in the law, who had read the condi- 
tions of the gift, and who had read the leading case in the Supreme 
Judicial Court, and the Board included in its number the Chief Justice 
who had written the opinion. 

The practical aspects of the question were also persuasive. Stearns 
Church seemed to me, and to many of the preachers who preached 
there on invitation of the College, to lack many of the essentials needed 
for a dignified service, inasmuch as many in the audience came because 
of a college regulation requiring attendance a certain number of times 
each semester. In some of the pews the students could not see the 

preacher; in some they could not hear the preacher. There was no 
robing room for choir and no robing room for the visiting preacher and 
the president; there were no toilet facilities of any kind. The walls 
were seriously in need of redecoration, and the organ was in serious 
disrepair. I remember one occasion in my first year when the visiting 
preacher and I donned our robes in Walker Hall as was the custom 
and walked to the church. When the service was over, we came out 
into a driving rain. The preacher was young, and he and I picked up 
the skirts of our robes and raced the distance between the two buildings 
to the delight of the undergraduates, some of whom doubtless laid 
bets on the winner. The Reverend Milo H. Gates, '86, dean of the 
Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, who preached at 
the College almost every year for a third of a century and who was a 
recognized authority on church architecture, told me that he always 
referred to the Stearns Church as "Brockton Gothic" in design and 
added that only dynamite could improve it. 

The problem was further complicated by the fact that Alfred E. 
Stearns, '94, one of the leading members of the Board at that time 
and soon to become chairman of the Board in succession to George A. 
Plimpton, was a son of the donor of the church and had, theiefore, 
a feeling of filial piety in respect to the building. 

My formula, which put the whole question in the form of a recom- 
mendation in the field of buildings and grounds, saved the Board from 
prolonged debate on the other aspects of the problem and enabled 
them to make a decision to remodel the Chapel and leave to the presi- 
dent the use to be made of the two buildings. 

Before presenting the matter to the Board I had of course studied the 
problem as to where the funds were to come from for the operation. 
At Commencement in 1930, Mrs. Edwin Duffey of Cortland, New 
York, had offered the College a fund of $40,000 in memory of her 
late husband, and President Pease had secured her assent to its use for 
a new organ for Stearns Church. Edwin Duffey had been one of the 
most devoted sons of Amherst. Graduating in the class of 1890, he 
had attended Columbia Law School and then returned to Cortland 
to practice law. In 1901, contrary to the advice of many friends, he 
undertook and carried through to complete success the reorganization 
of the local traction company. He extended its activities to provide 
power and light for the city and vicinity and in his hands it became 
truly a public service corporation. In 191 5, Governor Whitman ap- 
pointed him New York State Commissioner of Highways, and his 
administration of this office commanded the admiration even of his 
political opponents. In spite of the demands of public life, he held a 


unique place in the community in which he made his home. He was 
a director of the National Bank and trustee of the Cortland Savings 
Bank. He was active in support of the Cortland Normal School, trustee 
of the Cortland County Hospital, a strong supporter of the Public 
Library, and an active member of the Westminster Club, an organiza- 
tion of men of all creeds. 

Edwin and Mrs. Duffey had no children. For forty years Duffey 
picked promising boys from the neighborhood and sent them on to 
Amherst for a college education. The funds necessary he sent to the 
treasurer of the College. He followed the undergraduate careers of 
these boys, participated in their problems, helped them meet their 
difficulties. How many boys owe their Amherst education to him our 
records do not show, 

Duffey was a devout Roman Catholic all his life. But when President 
Olds desired to appoint Arthur L. Kinsolving as director of religious 
activities at the College, Duffey had asked the privilege of providing 
the necessary funds. Kinsolving was now a life trustee of Amherst. 
I had known Duffey well and had been deeply fond of him, and he 
had been chairman of the alumni nominating committee which had 
first placed my name in nomination for the post of alumni trustee in 

I called on Mrs. Duffey and asked her whether she would be willing 
to have her gift used for a new organ for Johnson Chapel instead of one 
for Stearns Church. She was delighted with the suggestion. She told 
me that Duffey, as a Catholic, had never had any particular interest 
in Stearns Church, but that he had always had a warm affection for 
Johnson Chapel, which he regarded as the center of the College. She 
added that the balance of her gift above the cost of the organ she 
hoped the College would use for the necessary work in remodeling the 
Chapel, I learned too that when she had made the offer three years 
before, she had transferred the sum of $40,000 to a special account in 
a New York bank so that it would be available when called for by the 

Then I called on Mrs. Morrow. Dwight Morrow had died in 1931 
and on his death the College had received not only his generous legacy 
of $200,000, but the entire balance of a trust fund which he had es- 
tablished on January 2, 1925. Morrow had told me of the trust fund 
when he established it, and had said that if I ever needed money for 
college purposes he would be glad to supply it from this fund. I was, 
as far as I know, the only trustee who knew of the existence and the 
purpose of the fund. Morrow's total gifts to the trust fund had amounted 
to $184,000, of which $140,000 was given in 1925 and the remaining 

$4i,ooo in 1927. The trustees of the fund had invested and reinvested 
under Morrow's advice. During his lifetime he had transferred from 
the fund to the College a total of $400,726 to cover the cost of Morrow 
Dormitory and the endowment of the Anson D. Morse Professorship 
of History. At his death, the trustees under the terms of the trust turned 
over to the College cash and securities of a value of Si 71,460.21. The 
College therefore received from the fund a total of over $572,000. 
The expenses of the trustees of the fund had been only $5,006.75. The 
increment to the fund, due to Morrow's management of its investments, 
had been something like 210%. 

I asked Mrs. Morrow whether she would think well of a proposal 
that the College use a part of the trust fund which had come to us on 
her husband's death for the remodeling of Johnson Chapel. She too 
was enthusiastic about the proposal, for both she and I knew that 
Morrow had had a deeper feeling for Johnson Chapel than for any 
other building on the campus. 

The question of an architect presented no difficulty, for McKim, 
Mead & White had already made at least two sets of sketches for the 
remodeling of the Chapel when it seemed likely that the work would 
be undertaken in the 1920's and paid for from the Centennial Gift. 
James Kellum Smith, '15, of the firm now prepared final plans along 
the lines I had already suggested. The work was done by Casper 
Ranger Company of Holyoke at a total cost of about $108,000. The 
new pulpit designed by J. K. Smith was a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ranger, 
and the comfortable bench for the rostrum was a gift from my wife 
and me. The building was rededicated at a formal service on May 23, 
1 934, with Mrs. Morrow and Mrs. Duffey as the special guests of the 
College. The dedication took the form of an organ recital on the new 
organ, which had been made by the Aeolian Skinner Organ Company. 
In our plans for the organ I had retained the services of Professor 
Clarence Watters, Organist of Trinity College. The address before the 
recital was delivered by the president. 

I must record one technical problem which developed in the process 
of reconstruction. We all wished of course to have the fourteen-foot 
addition to the east consistent in material with the remainder of the 
building which had been built more than a century before. Our con- 
tractor succeeded in finding some old brick mill buildings of about a 
century ago which were about to be demolished, and after inspection 
by our architect bought the brick for use in the addition. But neither 
architect nor contractor could suggest a satisfactory solution to the 
problem of matching the old Pelham granite, of which we needed a 
large amount for the foundation story. The Pelham quarries had been 


closed for perhaps a couple of generations. George Pratt suggested 
that we buy them and reopen them, but the architect pointed out that 
granite newly quarried from the old quarries would not have the surface 
texture which a century of weathering had given the granite in the 

As I was wandering over the campus one evening I thought of the 
answer. We had a great deal of old granite in various campus buildings. 
Some was in the pavement of porticoes, some in other locations where 
it would not be missed. With architect and contractor we selected the 
requisite amount and it was replaced with new stone or with concrete. 
The result in the Chapel addition was well nigh perfect. At the next 
Board meeting I made full confession and asked the Board's secretary, 
the late Edward T. Esty, '97, who had grown up in Amherst and who 
knew the campus more intimately than any other member of the 
Board, to take a walk with me and see if he could discover where the 
substantial amount of old granite had been replaced either with new 
stone or with concrete. He was confident that he could easily detect 
the substitutions, but he failed, so well had contractor and architect 
made the replacements. 

When the work was finished, we moved the offices of academic ad- 
ministration to Johnson Chapel. I chose for the president's office the 
two rooms on the west front of the second floor. These had been 
used by Amherst's presidents until the 1870's for classes and offices. 
Later they had been called the Little Chapel and used for prayer meet- 
ings and meetings of the Christian Association. By 1 932 they had been 
acquired by the Department of Public Speaking, which was now as- 
signed similar space on the third floor. The rooms were furnished with- 
out substantial expense to the College. The fine Persian rug and the 
davenport were brought from Converse Library, where they were 
receiving too hard usage from thoughtless undergraduates. The ma- 
hogany center table and chairs came from the president's house, to 
which they were returned by my successor. The English Chippendale 
bookcase on the east wall was presented to the room by Mrs. King and 
me. And the early prints were given by me or by other alumni. The 
large grandfather's clock was the gift of F. Winchester Denio, '06. 
The davenport and chair were reupholstered as a gift of Frederick S. 
Fales, '96, later a trustee of the College. The mahogany side table 
which was an heirloom of my family was placed in the room on in- 
definite loan. 

When I became president, the only books in the president's office 
were catalogues and reports. It seemed to me that the president should 
have a small working reference library at hand. During my years in 

office I built up such a library without expense to the College and it 
is now a permanent part of the office for my successors. 

The president's office owed its warmth and charm to my wife, who 
selected the furniture which we gave and composed the room. The 
rarest item of decoration is of course the Gainsborough portrait of Lord 
Amherst. This had been in the possession of the Amherst family until, 
in 1932, it was sent to this country for sale as the family fortunes had 
declined. The New York dealer who had it for sale offered it to the 
College in 1933 for a sum of $32,000, as I recall. With great regret I 
replied that the College had no funds available for its acquisition. 
Immediately, however, I brought it to the attention of my colleague, 
George D. Pratt, '93, who had already been generous to the College 
in imaginative ways. Pratt bought the painting and told me that it 
would come in time to the College. The painting passed to Mrs. Pratt 
under his will, and shortly thereafter she gave it to the College. 

The restoration of the Chapel gave us large additional space in the 
basement which had before been unavailable for use. Here we added 
offices as well as the necessary equipment for a college telephone 
switchboard, which was placed first on the ground floor beside the 
Recorder's office for a year or more and then moved upstairs to the 
main floor. The new switchboard was a great administrative con- 
venience, as well as a useful service for alumni and parents who wished 
to telephone the College on long distance. In addition, the partitions 
in the building which before had been of wood lath were replaced 
with metal lath, all old wiring was replaced with new equipment in 
cables, the chapel room was provided with ventilating equipment, and 
the walls of the building were tied together with steel to give added 
solidity. The whole operation was, in fact, an unqualified success. 
On its completion, the Sunday Vesper services were moved from the 
church to the chapel, with marked improvement in the dignity of the 
service. My own office furnished a perfect robing room for the visiting 
preacher and the president, and the switchboard office served as a 
robing room for the choir. Stearns Church stood unused. 

A few months later, George Plimpton remarked at a trustee meeting 
that he planned to secure funds now for the restoration of Stearns 
Church. The following week I made a special trip to New York to 
try to dissuade him from any such enterprise. We talked the matter 
over for an hour. He wanted to know why I was opposed to the 
project, provided he secured new funds for the purpose. I told him 
that as president I intended to retain the Sunday service in Johnson 
Chapel and that a remodeled church would serve, therefore, no pur- 
pose whatever. Furthermore, I suggested that it seemed to me doubtful 


whether a required Sunday service would outlive my own administra- 
tion, and if attendance was made voluntary, the congregation would 
contain perhaps a score or two of students, but no more. A church 
seating eight hundred would be a dismal place for a service in which 
the congregation numbered not more than forty. Plimpton asked what 
I would do if he came to a Board meeting with an offer of the sum 
necessary to put the church in good condition. "G.A.," I replied, "I 
should ask the Board to refuse the offer. This would place you and the 
prospective donor in an embarrassing position. The Board of course 
has great confidence in you, but it also has confidence in me. They 
would not know what to do, but in my judgment they would in this 
dilemma support the president of the College." 

Plimpton considered the matter. Then he said, "Stanley, I did not 
know you felt so strongly on this question. I will drop it. But I have 
lived to see presidents come and presidents go at Amherst. I will not 
bring the matter up again during your administration; but when you 
retire, I would like to do this, if your successor has no objection." I 
agreed at once. 

Plimpton was then nearly eighty years old; I was fifty-three and had 
no thought of retirement. He was entirely serious in expecting to out- 
live me. It was, of course, true that he had seen eight Amherst presidents 
and he had seen seven of them leave office. We parted the best of 
friends. We had worked together on Amherst matters for some fifteen 
years and never before had differed on an important matter. 

The third recommendation in the field of buildings and grounds 
which I presented to the Board during my first year in office was for 
the erection of a building for the game of squash, in memory of John 
Davenport of the class of 1858. We have seen in an earlier chapter that 
President Seelye had confidently expected a gift of some $50,000 for a 
new chemistry laboratory from John Davenport of Bath, New York. 
But Davenport, as we saw, finally advised Seelye that he was not in a 
position to make the gift at that time. Forty-six years had passed. 
Davenport had died in 1895 and his will had contained a bequest to 
the College of $50,000 subject to certain life interests. The bequest was 
to be used by the College under the terms of Davenport's will for a 
building to bear his name and to be approved by his trustees. The 
life estates had recently fallen in, and the Davenport trustees were 
prepared to pay over to the College the corpus of the fund when the 
College submitted plans for a suitable building to be approved by them. 

Building costs had, of course, risen sharply in the third of a century 
since Davenport's death. Fifty thousand dollars would not build a 
very large building now, even though costs were down because of the 

severe depression. In 1 930, my predecessor had proposed using the fund 
with other funds of the College for a Little Theater, but the Davenport 
trustees had declined to approve on the ground that the Davenport 
fund would cover only a small part of the cost of such a building. 

My colleagues and I turned the matter over in our minds. I asked 
one or two presidents of other small colleges what they would do with 
$50,000 under these conditions. One of them said at once, "Build a 
squash building. We happen to need just that." I put the proposal 
under study. Amherst already had some squash courts given, as we 
have seen, by Mortimer Schiflf, '96, a quarter of a century earlier. 
But the game had increased greatly in popularity in the intervening 
years and our courts were entirely inadequate to take care of the de- 
mand. We submitted the suggestion to the Davenport trustees and to 
the Amherst Board and received the informal approval of both. At 
the June 1 933 meeting of the Amherst Board, the matter was referred 
to the special committee of Eastman, Maynard, and Pratt with au- 
thority to proceed. 

The decision of the Board to build the Davenport Building brought 
into focus a problem on which various members of the Board had for 
some time held \videly divergent views. This was the problem of the 
appointment of a college architect. McKim, Mead & White had been 
architects for the College for nearly half a century. They had designed 
every building built by the College except those which had been given 
by members of the Pratt family. The firm had designed buildings for 
many other colleges and universities, including Columbia, the Uni- 
versity of Virginia, Wesleyan, Bowdoin, Union, and others. Mr. Mead 
had been one of the most active and devoted alumni of the College. 
Mead, as we have seen, had headed the Fine Arts Commission ap- 
pointed by the Board, and when the Commission was reconstituted, 
he had named the other members. In 1928 he had died at the age of 
eighty-two. He had discussed with Plimpton, Morrow, and me his 
desire to provide funds for the erection of a Fine Arts Building on the 
Amherst campus, and we understood that the bulk of his substantial 
estate would come to the College on the death of his wife, to provide 
for such a building and for the endowment of the department. The 
firm of McKim, Mead & White continued, and the active partners 
were Lawrence White, son of one of the original partners, and James 
Kellum Smith, of the class of 191 5. 

The Pratts, for reasons which I never knew, had never been en- 
thusiastic about the work of the Mead firm. And George Pratt, as 
we have seen, had selected Perry, Shaw & Hepburn of Boston to draw 
plans for the future development of the campus at his own expense as 

[221 ] 

a preparation for the model which he had presented to the College. 
Dean Woodbridge of the Board had the natural interest of a father in 
the architectural career of his son, Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21, of 
New York. Fritz Woodbridge had earlier drawn some sketches sug- 
gesting a possible future development of the campus which had been 
seen and admired by his father and by Morrow and me. And he had 
designed three of the house libraries. A clerical member of the Board 
put forward the name of Ralph Adams Cram of Boston, one of the 
leaders in the field of Gothic architecture. 

The question was debated at some length in the Board, and it seemed 
clear to me that at the moment no architect could secure a strong en- 
dorsement by a majority of the Board. The problem was resolved for 
the time being by the appointment of a special committee composed 
of Eastman, chairman, Pratt, Esty, and Maynard "to consider the 
problem of a college architect and report their recommendations at 
an early meeting of the Board." And the special building committee, 
made up of the same men except Esty, was given authority to select the 
architect for the Davenport Building. Of course, as president I worked 
in close consultation with both committees. Eastman, Esty, and May- 
nard were excellent choices for the problem. They were open-minded, 
judicial, and unemotional in the consideration of the question. Pratt 
held strong views, but his health prevented his taking an active part 
in the discussions which followed. It was important to have him on the 
committee because of his long service in Buildings and Grounds and 
his generosity to the College, particularly in this field. On the whole it 
seems clear today, after a lapse of twenty years, that Maynard, although 
not the chairman, was the member of the committee who made the 
most substantial contribution to the solution of the problem. 

The special building committee had the immediate problem of se- 
lecting an architect for the Davenport Building, and they agreed on 
James Kellum Smith and authorized him to prepare preliminary plans. 
The building was of course to be located on the south campus as a 
part of a future development of the physical education plant. The cage 
had already been built at the southwest corner of the campus, and we 
hoped some day to add a gymnasium and a swimming pool. J. K. 
Smith submitted sketches showing the Davenport Building in its present 
location and showing in outline the present Alumni Gymnasium and 
Harold I. Pratt Swimming Pool. After careful study the committee 
accepted the plans. 

The general contract for the Davenport Building was let to the 
Bathelt Construction Company of Holyoke. John Bathelt had for years 
been one of the senior members of the staff of the Casper Ranger 
[ 222 ] 

Construction Company of Holyoke, and as such had been in charge 
of the large amount of work done by the Ranger Company for the 
College. Now he had set up his own concern. His former work had 
been so satisfactory that the committee decided to entrust the new 
building to him. The building contains eight single and two doubles 
courts. The courts were the best we could buy. The building was un- 
heated and no provision was made for locker rooms, showers, and toi- 
lets, as these would be included in a new gymnasium later. The 
exterior was designed to harmonize with the gymnasium, and the con- 
struction was as simple and inexpensive as we could provide. The main 
lobby was designed as a memorial room to contain a portrait in oil of 
John Davenport. 

The building was completed in the autumn of 1934 and formally 
dedicated on October 26, 1934, in the presence of representatives of 
the Davenport family. After the formal ceremony, exhibition squash 
matches were played by leading professionals. The total cost of the 
building was about $98,000, of which $50,000 came from the Davenport 
bequest and the balance from the general funds of the College. 

Soon after ground was broken for the building, Messrs. Perry, Shaw 
& Hepburn filed a claim against the College on the ground that the 
location of the building made it impossible for the College to carry 
out at some future date the erection of the new gymnasium which they 
had designed. This was true. The College, on the other hand, had 
not understood that it was incurring any obligation, legal or moral, 
to the firm when Pratt retained them to draw sketch plans for a possible 
future development. The Board, when it accepted Pratt's generous 
offer, had included in its vote a provision that the College was not 
obligating itself in any way to the Boston firm. Pratt's health was now 
such that the Board could not refer the question to him. At its January 
meeting in 1934, the Board referred the problem to Maynard and me 
for settlement. Neither of us believed that the College was under 
obligation, legal or moral, to the firm in Boston. We were both members 
of the Massachusetts bar. On the other hand, we did not wish the Col- 
lege to become involved in a law suit which would of necessity involve 
a generous donor now in poor health. We therefore worked out a 
compromise settlement under which the College paid a small sum to 
be released forever from all obligation to the Boston firm. 

At the autumn meeting of the Board in October 1934, the special 
committee to recommend a college architect made its report. "Your 
committee has considered," said the report, "the relations of the Col- 
lege with various firms of architects during the recent history of the 
College. It has discussed with the President the building needs of the 


College in the near future. It recommends that on all current building 
projects for which the Board has authorized the President to have 
studies made, the President consult James Kellum Smith of the Class 
of 1 91 5, of New York City, and that the President shall also consult 
Mr. Smith as to any future building studies authorized by this Board 
unless and until otherwise ordered by the Board." The committee's 
formula avoided all mention of McKim, Mead & White, because of 
its doubt as to whether the Board was prepared to follow such a recom- 
mendation. The committee had, however, the experience of the past 
year in working closely with J. K. Smith in the construction of the 
Davenport Building. And the action of Perry, Shaw & Hepburn in 
filing a claim against the College had eliminated them from considera- 
tion, for no member of the Board regarded their claim as having sub- 
stance. The vote of the Board, after hearing its committee's report, 
settled the matter. "Voted: That the report be received and that the 
matter be referred to a committee consisting of Messrs. Eastman, Esty, 
and Maynard with power." These were of course the men who had 
made the report. 

Nearly twenty years have passed since this decision of the Board. 
J. K. Smith was then at the beginning of what has since proved to be 
a most distinguished architectural career. He has received the pro- 
fessional honors from his colleagues which Mead in his day received. 
His subsequent work for Amherst in the design of the buildings which 
the College has erected in a score of years has been so fine that it is 
difficult now to realize the doubt which was in the minds of many of 
the members of the Board in 1 933 and 1 934. The judgment of East- 
man, Esty, Maynard, and myself has been amply vindicated by ex- 
perience. Since 1 934 no member of the Board has raised any question 
as to the college architect, and today the president of the College con- 
sults J. K. Smith on any architectural problem for which studies have 
been authorized, under the authority of the resolution of 1 934, which 
has never been modified or superseded. The settlement of the church 
and chapel question, and the choice of an architect, removed from dis- 
cussion in the Board two problems which were uncommonly vexing 
because of the wide divergence in the views of individual members. 
Before the Board met again, George D. Pratt had died at his home in 
Glen Cove, Long Island. 

The fourth project in the field of buildings and grounds initiated 
during my first year was a study of the responsibility of the College for 
providing meals for students. The Alumni Council at my request ap- 
pointed a special committee under date of December 5, 1 933, to make 
a comprehensive study of the problem. The committee selected by the 

Council in consultation with me consisted of Howard A. Halligan, '96, 
chairman, and Frederick S. Allis, '93, secretary. The other members 
were Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, Richard B. Scandrett, Jr., '11, Wal- 
ter S. Orr, '12, Carroll B. Low, '17, and Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21 . 
Orr and Low later became trustees of the College. 

The committee did an immense amount of work. It inspected the 
dining rooms in Delta Upsilon, Phi Gamma Delta, Chi Psi, and Delta 
Tau Delta. It conferred with Mrs. Carter and Mrs. Waite, both of 
whom had operated excellent student boarding houses in Amherst for 
many years. It listened to the point of view of representatives of Student 
Council and of the fraternities. And it studied conditions at Cornell, 
Colorado, Dartmouth, Hamilton, Harvard, Lafayette, Princeton, Wes- 
leyan, Williams, and Yale; and at Andover, Deerfield, and Exeter. 
It presented its unanimous report under date of May 5, 1933, and the 
report was printed and sent to all the alumni. 

The committee first reviewed the history of the problem at Amherst. 
In the early days the College did nothing in this field. Then it operated 
one or more boarding houses, or let them to concessionaires. The re- 
sults were never particularly satisfactory. Presidents Harris and Meikle- 
john had on more than one occasion recommended a College Commons, 
but nothing had come of their recommendations. I may note in passing 
that it is usually not enough for a president to make a recommendation 
for this or that building that he thinks the College needs. He may 
beat the drums in his reports to the Board and to the alumni, but 
unless he is willing to carry the begging bowl to New York and Boston 
and other centers of Amherst men, the building is not likely to be 
built. Amherst presidents were in the habit of relying on Plimpton to 
secure the funds needed, but even Plimpton could not do it all single- 

In the late 1 920's an undergraduate member of Phi Gamma Delta 
Fraternity, with some experience in working in hotels, proposed to his 
fraternity that they eat as a fraternity and that he act as steward. The 
experiment was an immediate success and was quickly followed by 
other chapters, which found that they could make a dining room a 
source of fraternity revenue. A number of the chapters installed dining 
rooms, other chapters made contracts with local boarding houses. The 
Morrow Cafeteria, which had been installed as an experiment by 
President Olds, found its clientele shrinking. 

The committee then presented its recommendations. In effect, they 
asked the College to assume direct responsibility for the feeding of 
the student body by providing a new building designed for the purpose. 
They estimated the cost of such a building as something of the order 


of magnitude of $300,000. They suggested that all freshmen and sopho- 
mores be required to eat in the college dining rooms when built, and 
that upperclassmen be free to eat there or elsewhere. They added that 
freshmen should eat as a class. 

It was an excellent report and it had an immediate effect, even 
though there were, at the moment, no funds to implement it. It put 
the undergraduates on notice that their present practice of fraternity 
eating was not likely to continue indefinitely. It made it impossible for 
any fraternity in the future to raise money from its alumni for a fra- 
ternity dining room. And it presented to the Board certain concrete 
recommendations made by a group of able alumni after careful study. 
It was, in effect, notice to all concerned, including the boarding house 
keepers in the town, that the College was likely to take over the 
problem in the not too distant future. These implications of the report 
I took occasion to stress in my occasional remarks to the student body 
in chapel. 

During these early months, my wife was busy developing a program 
for the landscaping of the grounds of the president's house. After her 
program had been approved by Arthur Shurcliff, the landscape archi- 
tect of the College, and by the Board, she began carrying it out. The 
work was carried on from year to year under her direction and largely 
with her own hands, and at our personal expense. Later we established 
the Margaret King Fund by a series of gifts to the College and the 
costs of the landscaping program were charged to this fund. The story 
of the president's house is her story, and with the permission of the 
Amherst Graduates' Quarterly, I am including the story which she wrote, 
as a separate chapter. Her landscaping was later extended to Morgan 
Hall, College Hall, to the front of Converse Library, the grounds in 
front of the new Alumni Gymnasium, and elsewhere on the campus. 
The landscaping of the grounds of the president's house in particular 
received the highest praise from the professional landscape architects 
who inspected it from time to time, and added a background of rare 
beauty to the distinguished Georgian house which the founders of the 
College had built for the president in 1834. 

Another early project was the Frank L. Babbott Room on the second 
floor of the Octagon. Early in my first year, I asked the Committee 
of Six of the Faculty what I could do for the faculty without the ex- 
penditure of any substantial sum of money, and I explained that we 
had a difficult budget at the moment. The committee replied at once 
and almost to a man, "Let us smoke at faculty meetings." We all 
laughed and I inquired, "Why not?" It seemed that it had never been 
done since the founding of the College. In addition, as faculty meetings 

were held customarily in the Latin Room in Williston, which had no 
artificial ventilation, they explained that if they smoked they would 
soon be asphyxiated. I suggested that Professor Doughty invite us to 
use the lecture room of the Moore Laboratory, which had the best 
modern system of artificial ventilation, and at the next faculty meeting 
I provided cigars, cigarettes, and smoking tobacco for the faculty. But 
while the Chemistry Lecture Room was an excellent classroom, it was 
not a suitable place for faculty meetings. It was stiff and formal and 
did not lend itself to the informal give and take of friendly debate. 
It was designed for lectures, not for discussion groups. It was clear 
that the College needed a proper faculty room, and that faculty meet- 
ings would be more productive under such conditions. 

As I studied the problem, it became clear that the large octagonal 
room on the second floor of the Octagon was ideal in size and location. 
It was then used only for storage by the Department of Music. When 
J. K. Smith was consulted, he made sketches which indicated that it 
would make the ideal location for faculty meetings, as well as for small 
informal lectures and discussions. 

But when I approached Professor Bigelow of the Department of 
Music, he flatly refused to let me have it. I suggested that perhaps the 
needs of the entire faculty ought to take precedence over those of one 
department, particularly as we could supply him with other storage 
space elsewhere, but he was adamant. 

Bigelow and I had been friends since my undergraduate days. He 
had graduated from Amherst in the Class of '89 and had been a mem- 
ber of the faculty since 1 894. He had almost single-handed created the 
Department of Music at Amherst and had been a leader in the fight 
to make music an accepted part of the curriculum in liberal arts col- 
leges. He had accomplished this against the opposition of many of his 
faculty colleagues, and he was unwilling to surrender any of the ground 
which he had won at such cost. He was now sixty-six years old and 
approaching retirement. 

Bigelow explained to me that the entire building was legally his and 
had been bequeathed to him by Professor B. K. Emerson, Professor 
of Geology, when Emerson moved his work to the Biology-Geology 
Building. Of course it was impossible to yield to this argument and 
establish the precedent that members of the faculty disposed of the 
use to be made of college buildings. I explained that the Octagon in 
fact belonged to the College, and that under the statutes of the College 
the president was charged with the responsibility of determining the 
use to be made from time to time of our different buildings. I added 
that the question would go to the Board, and as he had two classmates 


on the Board (James and Woodbridge) , he could be assured of a fair 

Then, on December 7, 1933, occurred the death of one of our most 
generous and devoted alumni, Frank Lusk Babbott of the Class of 
1878. We had known each other well for many years. He had received 
the honorary degree of Master of Arts on the commencement platform 
in 1 903, when I received my Bachelor's degree. Under his will Amherst 
was to receive one third of his estate, the largest gift the College had 
ever received for general college purposes. A few months later I pro- 
posed to the Board that the College use its own funds to remodel the 
second floor of the Octagon, that the room be named the Frank L. 
Babbott Room, that an appropriate marble tablet be placed over the 
entrance, and that a portrait in oil of Mr. Babbott be commissioned 
and hung over the fireplace. The Board gave its immediate approval 
and the work was undertaken. 

The result was the most distinguished room on the campus. The 
little gallery and the spiral staircase, both already there, make it 
unique. Windows were cut through the walls and a dome constructed 
in the ceiling. A large mahogany table was ordered for the center and 
comfortable benches built around the walls. These, with a number of 
easy chairs placed in concentric arcs, give a seating capacity adequate 
for the entire faculty. The white marble tablet over the entrance was 
cut from the same block of stone which had been quarried for the 
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington. On May 3, 1935, the 
room was formally dedicated in the presence of the members of the 
Babbott family; the address was delivered by Professor George F. 
Whicher, who had recently been named Professor of English on the 
Frank L. Babbott Foundation. The cost of the room and the furnishings 
was about $15,000. 

The Babbott Room has proved to be one of the most useful rooms in 
the College. Faculty meetings are held in a different climate there 
from the one that prevailed earlier. Week after week the room is in 
use for conferences, informal talks and lectures, large committee meet- 
ings, and other purposes. Later the Board approved a suggestion that 
we commission Ercole Cartotto to do a series of portraits of senior 
members of the faculty and of some trustees to hang in the room. The 
portraits, done in charcoal, crayon, and silver point, make a unique 
collection by a single artist, and add greatly to the interest of the room. 

The creation of the Babbott Room set at rest, it is hoped for all time, 
the question that had long been mooted as to whether the Octagon 
ought not to be torn down as an architectural monstrosity. In the 
1920's a majority of the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board 


5^ ' '^ *'' 

: i 

; 1 




had held a meeting which I had been unable to attend and had drawn 
a report making just this recommendation. The Committee had ob- 
tained from Herbert J. Kellaway, our landscape architect at the time, 
an estimate of the cost of removing the hill. His estimate, based on the 
removal of some 52,000 cubic yards of earth, relocating drives and 
walks, loaming and seeding, came to $67,000, exclusive of the cost of 
removing the building itself. The report was presented to the Board 
and I had led the debate against the proposal. 

The building had been built in the darkest days of the College with 
funds given by generous donors. It could be adapted for the needs of 
the College today at a much lower cost than would be involved in 
building a new building of equal cubic contents. I argued that if we 
now tore down a building given a century before by some thirty donors, 
it would discourage potential donors today in the consideration of proj- 
ects of present need. Chief Justice Rugg came to my support in the 
debate with such vigor that even the signers of the report did not wish 
to enter the lists against him and they withdrew their recommendation. 
The Frank L. Babbott Room now made the building a memorial to a 
most generous donor to the College in the twentieth century. 

Another memorial rooiti followed, this one for Edward Hitchcock, Jr. , 
Day after day, as I left the president's house for the campus, I saw 
Morgan Hall and the empty stacks in the rear. Something could be 
made of this unused space, something ought to be made of it. But what? 
In the spring of 1933 I brought the matter to the attention of the Board 
and at the Commencement meeting the Board approved in principle 
the removal of the stacks and the utilization of the space. Later they 
authorized the special building committee to have studies made by 
our architect. Across the town common, in the basement of Converse 
Memorial Library, was the Memorabilia Collection of the College, 
which had been initiated by "Old Doc" Hitchcock and maintained 
by a member of the staff of the library in his spare time. It comprised 
the raw material of the history of the College. In Converse it occupied 
valuable space which the library needed for its growing collection of 
books. It deserved a room of its own where it could be properly or- 
ganized and made available to those who wished to consult it. The 
Collection had been one of the far-sighted projects of the Old'Doctor, 
who was always looking ahead to what the College might need some 
day; now it was gathering dust and was almost forgotten except by the 
library staff who grudged it the space it occupied. Why not build in 
Morgan a memorial to Dr. Hitchcock, where the memorabilia collec- 
tion could be organized and made available? 

With the approval of the special building committee, J. K. Smitl^ 

[ 229 ] 


prepared sketches showing the beautiful memorial room which we 
now have, as well as the large storage space for the records. This was 
just what I needed to work with, to interest some donor in the project. 
I talked the matter over with James Turner, '80. He was enthusiastic 
about the suggestion but said it was not for him. I did not urge him; 
Jim Turner never needed urging when his alma mater was concerned. 
Then it occurred to me that I might approach a classmate of Turner's, 
Arthur N. Milliken of Boston. 

Milliken was a Boston lawyer who had retired. As an undergraduate 
he had been a member of the same fraternity as "Old Doc." He had 
married the daughter of Charles Marsh of the great Jordan Marsh 
store; but his wife had died and they had had no children. When the 
Class of 1 880 on its fiftieth reunion had given the College an endowment 
of $160,000 for the Professorship of Greek, Turner and Milliken had 
underwritten the gift. Milliken was now an old man in frail health and 
I had never seen him either in Amherst or at Boston dinners. I called 
him on the telephone and the following conversation took place. 

"Good morning, Mr. Milliken, this is Stanley King of Amherst. I 
am to be in Boston in a few days. May I call on you?" 

"No," he replied, "I don't want to see you. I am an old man. My 
health is poor and I am seldom in my Boston office." 

"I am sorry, Mr. Milliken, that you are not feeling well. What I 
had in mind really was to ask if I might call on you at your home in 
Cohasset. I shall have my car and should be delighted to drive out to 
pay you a brief call of respect." 

"No," came back the reply. "I don't want to see you. I know what 
you want and I am not interested. I am sorry but I shall not be able 
to see you if you call." 

"I am very sorry, Mr. Milliken. Of course in that case I shall not 
trouble you. You have been very generous to the College, most gen- 
erous. I have never had the privilege of meeting you. I know of course 
a number of your classmates, and next week I expect to see Jim Turner 
in New York. May I give him your good wishes?" 

"Yes, give Jim my warm good wishes, Mr. King. And tell him what 
you were planning to talk with me about if you had come to see me." 

"I would like to make a memorial room for 'Old Doc' in Morgan 
Library, and I hoped you might wish to help," I said, picking up 

"How much would you have asked me for, if I had been interested?" 

"I don't know, perhaps $5,000," I replied tentatively. 

"No, I am not interested," Milliken replied at once. I thanked him 
and rang off. It seemed clear that the telephone conversation had been 

a poor gambit. I should have driven down and rung his doorbell, I 
reflected ruefully. 

It was September 24, 1934, and something prompted me to look 
in the Biographical Record before telephoning Jim Turner. I saw it 
was his birthday. I called him in New York and wished him many 
happy returns and asked him if I might see him the following week in 
New York. He invited me to lunch at his club. 

When we met, he asked how I had gotten along with his classmate, 
Milliken, and I replied by asking him how he knew I had been in 
touch with Milliken. He took a telegram out of his pocket and handed 
it to me to read. It ran as follows: 

"President King telephoned me to ask me for $5,000 for 
memorial room for Old Doc. I told him I wasn't inter- 
ested. Frankly I am interested. Could give more. Find out 
all you can about King's proposal and write me your views. 

What a man, what an outcome of an unsuccessful telephone conversa- 
tion! Turner and I had a very happy lunch. I briefed him thoroughly 
on the project. In a few days I had a letter from Milliken. It was short, 
almost brusque. It said in effect — here is a check for $10,000, build 
the room for Old Doc and don't bother me about details; get it done, 
for I am an old man. 

The next month, at its autumn meeting, the Board accepted the 
gift and authorized the special committee to proceed at once. We let 
the contract to the Bathelt Construction Company of Holyoke. As 
often happens when one attempts to remodel an old building, one finds 
hidden conditions to be worse than one anticipated. The roof of Morgan 
was such a case. The stone cornice, which has a substantial overhang, 
was in dangerous condition; we wondered why it had not fallen long 
ago with imminent danger to life and limb of students and faculty 
passing and repassing. We had to repair the cornice of the entire 

The seven stories of iron stacks were removed and we used the metal 
gratings of the floors to pave a muddy section in the Wild Life Sanctu- 
ary. New floors of reinforced concrete were installed, giving us a fire- 
proof section of the building with three floors instead of seven. The 
walls of the Memorial Room were paneled in mahogany. 

The following spring I received another letter from Milliken asking 
me how much the project was costing. I replied that the cost would 
run to $20,000 but that he was under no obligation whatever, as the 
Board would use other college funds for the overrun. He sent me back 

[231 ] 

a brief letter saying that this was what he had expected, and enclosed 
another check for $10,000. 

At the spring meeting of the Board, the Committee on Honorary 
Degrees recommended the award of an Amherst Medal to Milliken, 
and the Board approved. When I advised Milliken, he replied that he 
would be unable to come to Commencement to receive the award. A 
few weeks before Commencement he wrote again that he would come 
to Amherst but could not attend the formal exercises. Mrs. King in- 
vited him to lunch at the president's house with the official guests 
of the College and he sent his regrets. I suggested that I would confer 
the Medal in his room at the Inn. 

Arthur Milliken came to Amherst and attended the formal Com- 
mencement exercises in College Hall. I appointed a young member 
of the faculty to be his escort and to take him wherever he wished to go, 
and in particular to show him the Hitchcock Memorial Room, which 
was nearing completion. Milliken did not feel able to come to the plat- 
form with the academic procession and so sat in reserved seats with his 
escort in the front row of the audience. I went down from the platform 
and conferred the Amherst Medal with an appropriate citation. 

After the exercises he walked across to the president's house with 
Jim Turner and there Mrs. King found him. He said he was having 
such a good time that he hoped she would permit him to stay to lunch 
even though he had declined the invitation earlier. He looked so frail 
that Mrs. King decided to take no chances; she rearranged the place 
cards and placed him at a small table with a charming lady and two 
distinguished physicians who were back for reunion. He had a happy 
week end. 

Eight months later he died in Boston. Under his will the College 
received a bequest of $300,000 without restrictions. 

In the autumn I received a call from James N. Worcester, '06. 
Worcester had had a distinguished career as a surgeon until 1932, 
when he had been set upon by thugs in Central Park in New York as 
he was returning home one night and beaten so severely that he had 
to give up his practice and retire. He had just returned from a summer 
holiday in England, and on landing in New York had taken his smart 
sports car to drive to Amherst. 

He had spent the night at some inn along the way, and on arriving 
in Northampton had parked his car and entered a barbershop for a 
shave. When he came to pay, he found that he had spent all his change 
and all his small bills and had only some one hundred dollar bills 
which he had taken abroad and not used. He handed the barber one 
of these and the barber asked him to wait while he went out to get it 

changed. A few minutes later the barber returned with two policemen 
who promptly placed Worcester under arrest, took him to the police 
station and locked him up. The police refused to give any reason for 
his arrest or to answer questions. Worcester asked them to communi- 
cate with the president of Amherst College or with Judge Harry Field 
of Northampton, one of the best known citizens of the city, but this 
request was refused. Several hours later he was released with profound 
apologies and was asked not to report the experience. The police ex- 
pressed regret at the mistake they had made. 

Worcester had arrived in my office directly after this experience, 
and said he was so happy to be out of jail and on the Amherst campus 
that he would like to make an immediate gift to his alma mater. I 
asked him how much he had in mind, and he replied that his checking 
account could stand a gift of ^5,000. I told him of the Hitchcock 
Memorial Room, for which the College had no operating funds, and 
Worcester handed me his check for $5,000 for this purpose. My wife 
and I met him a few months later at Palm Beach, but he died in 
January 1936. He was a nephew of Jim Turner, '80. 

The projects we have discussed thus far had not been difficult under- 
takings. The remodeling of the Chapel had been paid for with Mrs. 
Duffey's generous gift and the Morrow trust fund, the Davenport 
Building had come primarily from the Davenport bequest, and the 
house libraries and memorial rooms had been relatively small projects 
in terms of cost and had been met by special gifts. But the College was 
facing a major enterprise which could be carried through only with the 
organized assistance of the alumni body as a whole. Whether it could 
be financed successfully in the trough of a severe depression was of course 
dubious. If it could be financed, this was obviously the time to initiate 
the project, for building costs were now at a relatively low level. 

The College needed a new gymnasium. Pratt Gymnasium, built in 
1 883 for a college of three hundred and fifty students, was grievously 
inadequate for the college of seven hundred and eighty-five students. 
Furthermore, the methods of the Department of Physical Education 
had changed radically in fifty years. Amherst had been the leader in 
this field and now its equipment was hopelessly obsolete measured by the 
standards of the present. If we were to have a new plant, we must mobi- 
lize undergraduates, alumni, and trustees in a major common effort. 

The student body knew the need at first hand. All that was necessary 
was to canalize their enthusiasm. Student Council, under the leadership 
of Arthur English, '35, and the editors of The Student, were eager to 
give their full cooperation. With my approval the editors of The Student 
opened the campaign on January 11, 1934, with the first of a series 


of articles calling for an all-out effort to secure a new gymnasium. The 
undergraduate editorial board must steer a middle course. They must 
make the case for a new building clear, but they must not criticise 
the Pratt Gymnasium so caustically as to irritate the Pratt family 
who had done so much for the physical education plant of the College. 
The students visited other colleges with better equipment and wrote 
careful reports for publication. The editorial board wrote persuasive 
editorials. The campaign was well executed. 

At the same time Student Council, after full discussion, voted to assist 
financially. They passed a vote unanimously, calling on the College to 
levy a student tax of Si o per student for four years, to be collected on the 
term bills and credited to a gymnasium fund, with the provision that if 
the building were not built in that time the money should be refunded. 
This meant, if the trustees approved, that the undergraduate body would 
contribute some $32,000 over a four-year period. I conferred with 
Student Council and suggested that the tax be only five dollars for 
students receiving scholarship aid. More than half of the Student Coun- 
cil were young men on scholarships. They replied at once that they 
preferred to share on the same basis as the others, and that they would 
give up certain things in order to meet the tax. The proposal then re- 
ceived the endorsement of the student body as a whole. 

I asked the Alumni Council at the same time to appoint a committee 
to study the gymnasium problem and the Council selected Walter S. 
Orr, '12, as chairman, Frederick S. Allis, '93, as secretary, and Fred- 
erick S. Fales, '96, C. Boardman Tyler, '98, Eugene S. Wilson, '02, 
Eugene F. Williams, '07, Richmond Mayo-Smith, '09, C. Kingman 
Perkins, '12, and Richardson Pratt, '15. The committee was broadly 
representative geographically, with members from Boston, New York, 
Chicago, and St. Louis. 

At the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1934 I presented the 
matter to the trustees. They were very doubtful of the wisdom of pro- 
ceeding with an organized campaign at that time, particularly the 
trustees from New York City. The climate in New York was then at 
the low ebb of discouragement. Even George Plimpton was doubtful 
and talked with me privately, saying he did not wish me "to stub my 
toe" when things at the College were going so well. There was the 
comment too that no Amherst campaign for funds had ever failed and 
it would be unwise for the College to break this record of confidence. 
Why not wait? I replied that I was prepared to accept the challenge of 
possible failure, if they would permit me to proceed. The Board re- 
luctantly, and against its better judgment, gave its assent. Specifically, 
the initiation of a campaign for funds was approved. 


We started with $i,ooo which had been contributed by the student 
body in 1931 for a George Daniel Olds Gymnasium. I myself now made 
the next gift, for I have always believed that if one is to ask others for 
gifts, one must give first oneself Then I took the train for New York 
with my begging bowl. The Walter Orr committee was in general 
charge. Fales headed the Atlantic Coast states, Mayo-Smith the New 
England states, Perkins the Chicago area, Williams the southwest, and 
Wilson the far west. Class representatives were appointed for each class 
from 1 886 to 1 934. There was a Committee of Fifty of the important 
alumni. And there was a special gifts committee under my chairman- 
ship. In any campaign the bulk of the total amount must come from 
special gifts. With me on this committee were James, '89, Breed, '93, 
Stearns, '94, Eastman, '95, and Herbert L. Pratt, '95. 

Orr presented the matter to the meeting of the Alumni Council in 
November 1934. An excellent leaflet illustrated with an architect's 
drawing of the proposed building was prepared by Bruce Barton, '07. 
The general campaign was under way. 

My first call was made on George Plimpton, the chairman of the 
Board. Plimpton declined, saying he was "as poor as Job's turkey." 
I took up the challenge. As Plimpton had been raising money for 
half a century, he knew all the defenses. We were the best of friends, 
but now I was trying to raise money at a time when he thought it 
unwise, and he brought up his defenses. I offered to take and cash his 
I.O.U., but he declined. We fenced for an hour, and I saw that I was 
making no progress. He asked what the Pratts were giving and I re- 
plied that I was calling on them next, but that I could make no further 
calls until I had a contribution from the chairman of the Board. 
Finally, I asked him what he had done with the large sum he had re- 
ceived a year before in the sale of some New York real estate. 

"How did you know about that?" said Plimpton. 

"You told me yourself and asked my advice as to how to invest it. 
Did you by chance follow the advice I gave you?" 

Plimpton smiled. "Yes, Stanley, I followed your advice and it has 
proved to have been excellent advice, excellent." 

"All right, G. A.," I said, "now I am here to collect my fee. Five 
thousand dollars in a check to the order of the College." 

It was forthcoming at once. I have always thought that Plimpton 
liked me better after that interview. He respected a man who held on 
and finally obtained a gift. Besides, he had enjoyed the game. My final 
play had been checkmate, and he had conceded. 

From Plimpton's house I went directly to 26 Broadway to call on 
Harold Pratt. He was very cordial and I told my story and asked him 


if he would be willing to confer with his brothers. As his nephew, Dick 
Pratt, was on the Orr committee, Hal already knew the story and had 
his answer ready. He told me that this was no time to think of raising 
money, no time to think of building a gymnasium, and no time for an 
alumni campaign, and ended by saying that the Pratt family did not 
care to come in on the program. Hal was calm and courteous, but firm. 
I accepted his answer and did not argue the question. I said, however, 
that Amherst was going ahead to raise the money, that we were sure to 
succeed, that we would build the gymnasium, but that the Pratts 
had always been most generous to the College and if they did not wish 
to participate in this particular enterprise we should have to build 
without their help. My answer, I am sure, surprised him. I rose to 
leave. He then said that he didn't think I could succeed, but that if I 
did, he wished I would call again and talk with him about it. To this 
I said no, that I never called twice on the same errand. "But," I 
added, "you know my address in Johnson Chapel." 

My calls on Plimpton and Hal Pratt were clear evidence that we 
were to find it hard going. In the following months I called on most of 
the wealthier Amherst alumni, and Orr and his committee did yeoman 
work among the alumni as a whole. Every alumnus on whom I called 
in person made a substantial gift, though none as large as I had hoped 
for. One whom I asked for Si 0,000 gave me S500. Many said that I 
might call again a year later, and when I did they gave me a second 
check. But none wished to pledge ahead. A year later I was able to 
report to the Board that we had gifts of $250,000, of which $150,000 
had been paid in. 

During the winter, the Orr committee retained the full-time services 
of Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21, for the campaign. Then Bert Pratt sent 
word to me that Hal wished to participate and so did the other brothers. 
The Pratts made a generous gift. We were thus making steady progress. 

In April 1 935, the Board authorized the moving of the large house 
on South Pleasant Street which had been given to the College by Frank L. 
Babbott, Jr., and was now occupied by Professor S. R. Williams. During 
the summer the house was moved across South Pleasant Street to its 
present location at 22 Hitchcock Road. In the autumn the detailed 
plans for the building were complete, and in November a contract 
was let for the Alumni Gymnasium. The contractor was Charles T. 
Wills, Inc., of New York. The cost of the gymnasium was about 
$290,000. In September 1936 the new gymnasium was opened. 

In 1936 Herbert L. Pratt, '95, was elected to the life Board to succeed 
his brother Geoi'ge. Herbert told me that his brother Hal wished to 
give a new swimming pool, but was afraid he could not afford the 

entire cost, and asked me for figures. As a result of our talks, I was able 
to announce that the pool was assured by gifts from Harold and 
Herbert of $50,000 each, by the bequest of Charles M., and by gifts 
from Mrs. Charles M., Frederic, and Richardson. With the approval 
of the donors it would be named the Harold I. Pratt Pool. The pool 
was formally dedicated on November 5, 1937. The cost had been 
$161,000, and the architect, of course, James Kellum Smith. 

The cost of both the Gymnasium and the Pool, therefore, was ap- 
proximately $451,000. Of this amount, about $252,000 was contributed 
by alumni and friends of the College, $34,000 by undergraduates, and 
the remainder came from surplus income and other funds of the Col- 
lege. I may add that the pledges were paid in faster than the contrac- 
tor's bills were received. When the buildings were completed, the 
College was in funds to pay the final bills. 

Amherst now had as fine a physical education plant as any college 
in the country and it was the result of the joint efforts of undergraduates 
and alumni. The enterprise gave a new sense of confidence to the 
alumni and tied them more closely to the College. It was a sound ac- 

The total amount of the pledges for the gymnasium had been 
$291,224. Of this amount, 99.06 per cent was paid in. There were 
thirteen hundred contributors, and when the work was finished I 
wrote a personal note to each. The special building committee, after 
letting the contract, entrusted its detailed administration to Maynard 
and me. We both kept in constant touch with the progress of the work, 
I almost daily, and Maynard so frequently that he was constantly on 
the road between Boston and the campus. The contractor placed vice- 
president Rapp in entire charge of the operation, and he proved to be 
as able a man as Maynard and I had ever come in contact with in our 
building operations. While literally hundreds of men had contributed 
to the success of the operation, the key men who were the recognized 
leaders in the enterprise were Maynard of the Board, Orr of the alumni, 
and Art English of the undergraduates. The College owes a deep debt 
of gratitude to each of them. The buildings have stood the test of a 
dozen years of use in peacetime and in the heavy load placed on the 
facilities in World War H. The design of James Kellum Smith, the 
administration of the contracts by his associates in the firm of McKim, 
Mead & White, and the large amount of preliminary work in the 
planning stage of the operation, which was well done by the members 
of the Department of Physical Education under the leadership of Eli 
Marsh for the gymnasium, and "Tug" Kennedy for the pool, made 
possible the result. 


Chapter XI 

Some of us in Amherst still refer to the year 1 936 as the year of the 
flood. And because the college plant assumed successfully the burden 
of housing and feeding and providing health services to four hundred 
refugees from the town of Hadley in addition to the normal under- 
graduate population, the story of the 1 936 flood may properly be told 
here. Ten days of unseasonably mild weather had melted the winter 
snows in the Connecticut River watershed, and five days of rain — 
four of them with heavy precipitation — provided the conditions for 
flood waters of record-breaking proportions. 

My personal diary contains the following summary: 

March 18, Wednesday. N.Y. Rain all day. Severe floods. Up at three and 
changed to coach for Springfield. Home at eight. Floods rising. Hadley 
evacuated at 1 1 :oo p.m. and moved to our Gym and Cage. 

March ig, Thursday. Light rain, clearing. Floods pass all records. We 
organize relief for Hadley refugees. Sunderland bridge goes down; other 
bridges closed. Hamp cut off. Conditions in Springfield critical. 

March 20, Friday. Clear, warm. Springfield, Hartford, Northampton 
isolated by flood. We are housing and feeding four hundred refugees 
from Hadley. 

March 23, Monday. Clear, warm. Refugees begin to return. 

March 27, Friday. Heavy rain. College closes for Easter. Last refugee 

On the preceding evening (Tuesday) I had kept a long-standing 
engagement to speak to the alumni in Philadelphia. At midnight a 
few of my friends had escorted me to the Philadelphia station to catch 
my Pullman sleeper for Springfield. There we were told that the sleeper 
would not come through because of flood conditions in western Penn- 
sylvania. My friends urged me to return to the club for the night, but 
I said that if there were floods in Pennsylvania, there would doubtless 
be floods in the Connecticut Valley, and I must get home. As there 
was no Springfield sleeper, I caught a few hours' sleep on a Boston 

Pullman, left the train at New Haven, and caught the milk train up 
the valley to Springfield. There flood conditions were serious and I 
drove to Amherst over back roads away from the river. Throughout 
the day we kept in touch with conditions by radio. The crest had not 
yet reached the Turners Falls dam. 

That evening at eleven the Chief Selectman of Amherst telephoned 
me that the State Police had ordered the immediate evacuation of the 
entire populations of Sunderland and Hadley. He was asking the Massa- 
chusetts State College to take the Sunderland people. "Will you take 
the people of Hadley?" he asked. 

There was no time for reflection. Automatically, I said, "Yes, of 

"Where shall they report?" he asked. 

"Pratt Gymnasium," I replied. He rang off. 

I telephoned Lloyd Jordan, director of intercollegiate athletics, an 
able and resourceful organizer, and Henry B. Thacher, superintendent 
of buildings and grounds, and asked them to take over. Thacher called 
in a number of his staff, opened up Pratt Gymnasium and the Cage, 
broke out our supplies of beds, blankets, and pillows which we used 
for Commencement crowds, and opened up Morrow Cafeteria. Jordan 
alerted his colleagues in physical education, called out his undergradu- 
ate managers and captains, mobilized all undergraduate automobiles 
and a number of faculty cars, and obtained some volunteers among 
faculty wives. All cars, under the direction of State Police, ran a 
shuttle service between Hadley and the campus, bringing in loads of 
the inhabitants of Hadley who had been so suddenly ordered out of 
their homes by the police. Traffic control points were set up by Jordan 
so that the shuttle service could operate without traffic jams. Faculty 
wives took over at Morrow Cafeteria and began making doughnuts 
and coffee. Others made beds in the Gymnasium and Cage. A pro- 
fessor of fine arts helped a Hadley farmer rescue his cow. 

At two in the morning, four hundred men, women, and children, 
including babes in arms, were in bed on our campus, and each had 
been served with hot coffee and doughnuts. Jordan then posted guards 
for the night and wrote out a report which included suggestions for 
immediate action the following morning. The report was in my hands 
before breakfast. The State Police then closed the Hadley road to 

Jordan, Thacher, and I conferred before chapel the next morning. 
At chapel I asked the student body for volunteers. First, we needed a 
few students who spoke Polish to act as interpreters, and second, we 
needed students to act in their off hours in the organization and direc- 


tion of play groups for the refugee children. We found both in our 
student body. Next, we needed to organize at once an emergency 
health service. Both college physicians were residents of Northampton. 
But Northampton, which yesterday was seven miles away, was now at 
least fifty miles away by car, as bridges both to the north and south 
were closed. In addition, the mayor of Northampton had declared an 
emergency and ordered all Northampton physicians to stand by for 
emergency service. Dr. R. Sheldon Clapp, '23, of Amherst, took over for 
the College and the refugees. 

Emergency conditions now existed in Northampton, Springfield, 
and Hartford. There was no train service north of Hartford. Many 
bridges were down to the east of us. But one main road to Boston was 
still open. Jordan ordered a truckload of dry foods shipped up from 
Boston at once. The Sunderland bridge went down. We kept a radio 
on for news bulletins. Would the Turners Falls dam hold? Would our 
electric power be maintained? Newspapers in Holyoke, Springfield, 
and Hartford suspended publication, and no outside papers were 
brought in. 

Our Hadley neighbors had nothing to do. They were served three 
meals a day in Morrow Cafeteria, their children were organized in 
play groups, our staff policed both Pratt Gymnasium and the Cage to 
maintain satisfactory standards and prevent deterioration into condi- 
tions of chaos. Our nurses checked health conditions. The local moving 
picture theater opened its doors for free performances for the Hadley 

In the absence of newspapers, rumors spread. The father of one of 
our students telephoned from Washington that in view of the epidemic 
of scarlet fever on our campus he wished the Dean to send his son home 
on the next train. The Dean explained that we did not have a single 
case of scarlet fever. The father then said we were to send his son home 
on the next train because of the flood danger. The Dean explained 
there were no trains and the father asked for a special train. The Dean 
explained that the tracks were all deep under water, but that the son, 
if he wished, could take a taxi to Boston and then catch a regular train 
to Washington. The father changed his mind and allo\ved his son to 
remain with the other students. 

The Turners Falls dam held. The flood crest passed down the river. 
The Red Cross set up emergency headquarters in Hadley. The State 
Police advised us that they would permit the repatriation of the people 
of Hadley. We knew what these people faced when they saw their 
homes and farms as the water subsided. We were confronted with a 
new problem. 
[ 240 ] 

How should we get them to go home and take up again the business 
of life when they were being fed, housed, and entertained in Amherst 
without expense? A formula occurred to me, and I passed it on to 
Jordan, who was in charge. He announced that they were free to go 
when they wished, but that traffic was one way. When a family wished 
to go home to see conditions, it was free to go, but it could not return 
to the campus. On Monday, the 23rd, the first of the Hadley refugees 
returned to Hadley. They could not come back and tell the others what 
conditions they found. The formula, based on normal human curiosity, 
was effective. By the 27th, Friday, the last of the refugees had left, and 
the College closed for the Easter recess. Smith College had not had to 
face the problem; its students had gone home for the Easter holiday 
just before the flood. 

The people of Hadley were deeply grateful to the College, and we 
received a touching acknowledgment from the officers of the town. 
I replied that the people of Hadley had contributed generously in ac- 
cordance with their means to the Charity Fund of the College over a 
century before, and that the College was glad to have been able to 
be of service in this emergency which had befallen their successors. 

After the Easter recess the College returned to normal. It had suf- 
fered no direct effects from the flood, though the flood waters had 
reached nearly to the Hadley-Amherst line on Northampton Road. 
At the spring meeting of the Board, on April 1 8, I presented a new 
problem to the trustees — the condition at Pratt Health Cottage. I 
had been concerned about our program for the care of sick students 
ever since I took office and I had discussed the matter at length with 
Dr. Nellis B. Foster, '98, of the faculty of Cornell Medical School, 
Dr. Walter W. Palmer, '05, of the faculty of Columbia Medical School, 
Dr. Robert B. Osgood, '95, of the Harvard Medical School, and Dr. 
Arlie Bock, chief of the health service of Harvard University. Our col- 
lege physician, Dr. Frank H. Smith, '93, had just retired for reasons 
of health, and Drs. Edward J. Manwell, '25, and Stephen Brown, '28, 
had been appointed our college physicians to serve on a part-time 

My report to the Board pointed out that Pratt Health Cottage had 
been built in 1897 and had represented sound practice at that time. 
It stood on our books at a figure of about $25,000. Now we were in 
the position of housing our well students in fireproof dormitories or in 
fireproof or fire-resisting fraternities, while we housed our sick students 
in a three-story frame building located at a distance from the Fire 
Department and at a point difficult of access to the department under 
winter conditions. The Health Cottage had been built for a college of 

[241 ] 

three hundred and fifty students; now we had a student population of 
more than twice this size. We had had three serious illnesses during 
the year, one of meningitis and two of pneumonia, though fortunately 
all had recovered. And our sickest students were housed on the third 
floor of Pratt Cottage. 

I added that of course I had no responsibility whatever for this situa- 
tion, as the Pratt Cottage was under a Board of Management appointed 
under the deed of gift and the president of the College was not a 
member. The Board of Management selected the superintendent and 
the nurses and decided on the standards to be maintained. The presi- 
dent of the College was responsible for all other aspects of the life of 
the institution and for all other members of the college staff except 
those at the Pratt Health Cottage. 

No report that I had before presented to the Board made so immedi- 
ate an impression on the trustees. They realized at once the seriousness 
of the situation, and they realized too that here the responsibility lay 
directly with the Board. The Board at once appointed a committee to 
study the problem and report back at the next meeting. Maynard 
proved to be the spearhead of the Committee. 

At the June meeting, eight weeks later, the committee reported. 
The Board then authorized the Executive Committee to build a new 
infirmary, select an architect, select the site, get plans and estimates, 
and let a contract. This action was taken at the same meeting at which 
the Board authorized us to proceed with the construction of the 
Harold I. Pratt Pool. Maynard and I were the members of the Board 
to carry out this mandate. 

The plans were, of course, put in the hands of James Kellum Smith. 
We consulted Dr. Walter Palmer, '05, as well as Dr. Frederic A. Wash- 
burn, '92, who had had a long experience as superintendent of Massa- 
chusetts General Hospital in Boston. The final plans provided for 
fourteen private rooms and two wards, two solaria, and a living room, 
all on the main floor. The superintendent's suite, nurses' rooms, and 
a guest room were on the second floor. Kitchen, staff dining room, 
store room, and an emergency ward were on the ground level. The 
plans gave us a normal capacity of twenty-eight, an emergency ca- 
pacity of forty, and would enable us to care for a hundred in case of an 
epidemic. In February we let the contract to Charles T. Wills, Inc. 

One solarium was a memorial to Professor Frederic L. Thompson, 
'92, and the other to Dr. Paul C. Phillips, '88, who had headed the 
Department of Physical Education between Dr. Hitchcock's term and 
the appointment of Eli Marsh. From Frederick T. Bedford, '99, we 
received a generous gift of $5,000, part of which furnished the living 

room, leaving some $1,300 as an endowment of which the income was 
earmarked to purchase books for the Hving room hbrary for our pa- 
tients' use. 

The cost of the entire program was about $179,000 and was met 
from the bequest of Arthur N. MilHken, '80. A tablet in the entrance 
lobby records Milliken's generosity. The building was ready for use 
at the beginning of the next academic year, and Pratt Health Cottage 
became surplus. The Board authorized its sale to a group of public 
spirited men [in the town] for $2,500, who resold it at the same price 
to the town of Amherst as a part of its development of a public chil- 
dren's playground. 

A third major project initiated in 1936, the year of the flood, was 
an addition to Converse Memorial Library. When the library was built 
in 191 7, the sidewalk superintendents had said that the College would 
never need so large a building, repeating the contemporary comments 
when Morgan was first erected. But a college's collection of books 
grows. And the growth, while imperceptible from day to day, reaches 
the proportions of a flood. At the January meeting of the Board in 
1936, I reported that our stacks would be full in five years, that the 
size of the student body made imperative additional reading room 
space, and that more space was needed for the staff. I suggested that 
the studies which had been made by the library staff indicated that 
a forty-foot addition to the east was perhaps the best solution to the 
problem, and that action should be taken before the situation became 

Teaching methods had changed in a number of subjects since the 
building was built. In many courses the students were expected to do 
a large amount of reading in a selected list of authorities, duplicate 
copies were bought and put on the reserve shelves, and the students 
in these courses did their studying in the library building and not in 
their rooms. To relieve the congestion, the College had already es- 
tablished the house libraries in the dormitories and, in addition, had 
provided temporary relief by making the third floor of Williston into a 
freshman reading room. This was at best a temporary expedient, and, 
furthermore, it had provided us with no additional stack space. 

The Board authorized further studies; further reports were presented. 
In June 1937, the Board authorized the Special Building Committee 
to let a contract. Charles T. Wills, Inc., was again the successful con- 

The Board left the details of interior arrangement, and the Com- 
mittee left the detailed administration of the contract, to Maynard and 
me. The extension gave us additional space of some 192,000 cubic feet. 


It provided two more reading rooms, a Treasure Room for our rare 
books, the needed additional space for staff, seven stories of stacks, and 
a large number of cubicles in the stacks for faculty, advanced students, 
and visiting scholars. Our studies indicated that the facilities would be 
adequate for a period of twenty to twenty-five years. The cost of the 
addition was about $172,000. 

At the same time, and with the approval of the Board, J. K. Smith 
made studies of what we might do a quarter century later when these 
facilities were fully occupied and still more stack space became a 
necessity. Sketch plans were prepared of a possible new building to be 
erected on the vacant lot to the north now used as a parking lot. The 
plans provide for adequate connections between the two buildings, 
as well as for further additions to the east on College Street. What the 
Board will do in the years to come to cope with the growing collection 
of books is, of course, their problem. But the Board in 1937 voted to 
reserve the location to the north for possible further growth of the 
library plant and ordered the sketch plans filed for future reference. 
For a score of years at least, the problem had been taken care of, and 
the addition has proved to be sound in interior arrangement. 

A fourth project had developed in the same year. For nearly a 
decade there had been talk of the need of a little theater on the campus. 
The work of the Masquers under the direction of Professor Curtis Can- 
field had attained a high standard of excellence which was recognized 
outside the college as well as within our walls. The pi'oductions had 
been staged in College Hall for want of any better place. The Alumni 
Visiting Committee to the department, under the leadership of Fred- 
erick S. Fales, '96, and Richard B. Scandrett, '11, had urged that the 
College take action to provide adequate facilities, but no funds of any 
magnitude had been available. 

Then Richard MacMeekin, '34, took hold of the problem. As an 
undergraduate he had been interested in the Masquers and had been 
one of the party that went to Vienna in the summer of 1933 under 
Canfield's leadership, to put on a group of American plays in the 
Schonbrunner Schlosstheater at the invitation of the Austrian govern- 
ment. The trip had been financed at the time by a grant from the 
income of the Clyde Fitch Fund, and I had felt that Clyde Fitch would 
have been happy that a group of his college had been able to accept 
the invitation of the Austrian government to present plays in that 
historic theater. The year after MacMeekin's graduation he had served 
as assistant to the president in my office. Then, after a year in the 
employ of Socony, he returned to the College to accept the post of 
director of admissions. 

Entrance to the new Infirmary 

The Infirmary from Hitchcock Field 

During his year with Socony, he had lived in Cambridge with 
Dwight W. Morrow, Jr., who had been my assistant the year before, 
and the two young men, filled with enthusiasm for their alma mater 
and its development, had discussed how they could add to its facilities. 
MacMeekin decided that he would attempt to secure a little theater 
for the Amherst campus. He discussed the matter with his father, 
James MacMeekin of Philadelphia, and later brought me into con- 
ference with his father. 

James MacMeekin had been a close friend of Dr. Ellwood R. Kirby, 
a Philadelphia surgeon, and on Kirby's death had been made a trustee 
of a fund for distribution to charity. Kirby had never married and had 
no close family connections. His life had been devoted to his profession, 
and his avocation had been the theater. As a result of the persuasive 
efforts of the young MacMeekin, his father discussed with me a pro- 
posed gift of some $100,000 for a little theater in Amherst as a memorial 
to his friend Kirby. And at the request of the elder MacMeekin, I asked 
J. K. Smith to go to Philadelphia for a conference on the subject. 
MacMeekin's first allocations from the trust fund were for projects in 
the field of hospitals in the city of Philadelphia. He would think seri- 
ously of transferring the residue to Amherst. 

Prolonged negotiations resulted. The College's need for a new in- 
firmary and for an addition to the library were obvious to Board and 
faculty. The same was not the case when we discussed a little theater. 
Few colleges had such a building; even Harvard had no theater except 
Sanders, which had been built years before and served other purposes. 
Only one location seemed possible for a building in which the stage 
house would rise to the height of a seven-story building, and this loca- 
tion would require the moving of the Boyden house, which was then 
occupied by Professor and Mrs. Hopkins. Some of the faculty were 
dubious about the wisdom of the project as well as some of the Board. 
But in time all the questions involved in the proposal were ironed out. 
Mr. MacMeekin made a formal offer and the Board authorized us to 
let a contract. 

Plans were drawn by James Kellum Smith, the college architect, 
who retained S. R. McCandless, a specialist in the design of theaters, 
as consultant. At the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1937, 
the trustees gave their final approval, and a contract was let to Charles 
T. Wills, Inc., of New York. The Boyden house was moved to its 
new location at 58 Woodside Avenue, on a lot already owned by the 

On March 17, 1939, the Kirby Memorial Theater was formally 
dedicated at a convocation. Addresses were made by Joseph Q. Adams, 


the director of the Fplger Shakespeare Library, by Burgess Meredith, 
ex '31, the distinguished actor, and by Sheridan deR. Gibney, '25, 
playwright. The honorary degree of Doctor of Letters was conferred 
on Adams, and honorary degrees of Master of Arts on Meredith and 

The subsequent work of the department and of the Masquers has 
fully justified the confidence which inspired the little theater project. 
Ralph C. McGoun, '27, has joined the department, with the present 
rank of associate professor, and Charles E. Rogers, associate professor 
of fine arts and dramatics, divides his time between the two depart- 
ments. The theater contained proper projection booths, and thirty-five 
millimeter moving picture equipment has since been added. Several 
series of films are shown each year to the college community. 

The cost of Kirby Memorial Theater was about $248,000. Cash and 
securities given to the College by the Kirby estate had a realized value 
of $89,000. The College will receive further funds from the Kirby 
estate which are now subject to annuities to life tenants. 

In 1 938, with the completion of the theater, we opened negotiations 
with the Town of Amherst on the subject of that part of the town com- 
mon which lies directly in front of theater, gymnasium, and cage. The 
town authorities suggested that they would be willing to recommend 
to the town that it deed the South Common to the College. It seemed 
unwise to accept the generous oflTer. Instead, the town deeded to the 
College a perpetual easement covering the South Common with the 
right to develop it for park purposes. At the same time, the College 
appropriated about $5,000 to straighten and hard-surface the roadway 
in front of its new buildings. 

A somewhat smaller project, initiated in 1936 and completed in the 
year following, was the Little Red Schoolhouse located on the east 
campus between the Service Building and the new Infirmary. For 
several years a few of the faculty wives, under the leadership of Mrs. 
Canfield, Mrs. Turgeon, and Mrs. Cole, had conducted a school for 
very small children, including both the children of the faculty and of 
the town. The school was in the charge of professional teachers who 
were paid from the receipts of the tuition. With the approval of the 
Board I had assigned unused space in the old Pratt Gymnasium for 
the use of the Amherst Day School, as the project was called. We 
found that the school was not only a distinct advantage to the younger 
members of our faculty, but that it proved to be an additional incentive 
when we desired to call to Amherst a young married teacher with small 
children. The space in Pratt Gymnasium was adequate as a temporary 
expedient, but it was obvious that the building would soon be re- 

modeled for strictly college purposes, and that if the Amherst Day 
School were to continue, it must have more permanent quarters suited 
to its special needs. 

Early in the autumn of 1936, James Turner, '80, visited Amherst 
and called on us. He asked me what further plans I had for the College, 
and I told him of three projects which I was turning over in my mind, 
one of them the Amherst Day School. He said he would like to consider 
the matter and suggested that we meet that afternoon between the 
halves of the football game. We met. Turner said at once that he would 
be interested in providing a building for the school and asked me to 
estimate its probable cost. I suggested a figure somewhere between 
Si 5,000 and S20,ooo. Turner told me to proceed at once with plans, 
but asked for the opportunity to talk with our architect before any 
final plan was adopted. He also made it a condition of his proposed 
gift that it be anonymous. 

We found some difficulty in putting on paper for our architect just 
what facilities we needed. Finally my wife took the matter in hand 
and drew a ground plan which satisfied the parties involved. James 
Kellum Smith then prepared the plans for the building based on Mrs. 
King's sketch. I invited Turner to meet me at this point in our archi- 
tect's office. He liked the plan, but insisted that the building should be 
built of the best materials in the market without regard to any budget. 
J. K. Smith drew the specifications on this basis and reported to 
Turner that the cost would be about double the original estimates. 
Turner's reply was that this satisfied him completely, that he did not 
wish to give the building unless it was the best that could be built, 
and that if I approved, we could proceed. 

I reported the matter to the Board, received their approval, and 
let the contract. No building on the Amherst campus is better built. 
The contractor was Bathelt Construction Company, and the cost was 
about ^36,000. The College provides the building, heats it, and keeps 
it in repair without charge to the Amherst Day School. The Amherst 
Day School was then incorporated, with its own trustees. It pays all 
other charges from its receipts from tuition. The school has now been 
in operation in its new building for some fourteen years and continues 
to serve a real need of college and community with striking success. 

On Mr. Turner's death I discussed the matter with his surviving 
brother and sister, and with their approval we placed a tablet beside 
the entrance to the building indicating that it was his gift. Turner's 
brother and sister then gave the College a fund of $20,000, and my 
daughter Gertrude gave a fund of $3,000 with the provision that the 
income should be used by the College for the support of the school. 

[247 J 

On September 15, 1936, occurred the death of Professor Edwin A. 
Grosvenor. A graduate of the College in the class of '67 and a member 
of the faculty from 1892 to 1914, he had continued to live in Amherst 
and to participate in the life of the College until his death at the age of 
ninety-one; his three sons had graduated from the College in the class 
of '97 On his death the College purchased his home on the north side 
of the campus fronting on College Street. A generous gift from his 
son Gilbert H. Grosvenor, now encouraged us to undertake the re- 
modeling of the house for faculty offices where members of the faculty 
could prepare their work and also receive students. The house was 
officially named Grosvenor House, and the main drawing room was 
furnished in Victorian style and made a memorial room. On the walls 
were hung pictures of Professor and Mrs. Grosvenor; mementos of their 
varied life in the Near East and in America were about the room. The 
house was connected with the central heating plant of the College and 
now provides ideal offices for some fifteen members of the faculty. The 
cost was about $14,200 in addition to the cost of the property, which 
had been acquired for Si 1,000. 

The final important project undertaken at this time resulted from a 
careful restudy of our heating problem by outside engineers It will 
be recalled that in 1925 the first unit of our central heating plant had 
been completed and put into operation, and the following year a 
second unit had been added. In the dozen years which had passed 
since then the College had added seven major buildings and two 
smaller ones. All of the buildings on the campus, except the infirmary 
and the schoolhouse, received their steam through a single steam line 
enclosed in a conduit which ran west from the heating plant by Morrow 
Dormitory, Pratt Dormitory, and Converse Library, with lateral 
branches to the president's house, Morgan, and College Hall; o the 
Chapel and the buildings on the inner campus; and to the Alumni 
Gymnasium and the buildings on the south campus. A serious break 
in this fine would cut offbeat from substantially the entire plant. Our 
engineers had told us when the plant was built that the normal life 
of a system of conduits was in the neighborhood of twenty years After 
that the cost of keeping the system in repair would mount steadily. 

When these facts were drawn to the attention of the Board, it au- 
thorized a study of the problem. We selected Lockwood, Greene & Co., 
of New York, as college engineers, and they presented a comprehensive 
report They recommended that we consider the adoption in principle 
of the' best current practice, which provided for carrying the steam 
mains and other services in concrete tunnels instead of ^^ conduits^ 
In a tunnel a break at any point could be quickly detected, located 

exactly, and a replacement made. In the conduit system, on the other 
hand, a break is indicated by steam escaping at the surface of the 
ground, and as the steam finds its way to the surface, it follows the 
path of least resistance and may emerge several yards from the point 
where the break has occurred. As a result, a break in winter, when the 
ground is frozen deep, requires difficult excavation which is both slow 
and expensive. The engineers recommended that the College now 
build a tunnel from the heating plant running south to the new in- 
firmary and then west to Pratt Gymnasium where it would connect 
with the conduit system. This would at once give us two feed lines to 
the campus, and if a break occurred in the old line, steam could be 
routed through the new tunnel. 

The Board approved. In the summer of 1937 this project was com- 
pleted. The contractor was Bathelt Construction Company, and the 
cost was $59,000. 

Toward the end of my term of office, our engineers made preliminary 
studies looking to the extension of the tunnel system to replace all 
conduits. This would require a tunnel from the heating plant running 
west to the corner of Converse Library; a branch under the common 
to serve College Hall, Morgan, and the president's house; a branch 
running south from the Converse Library corner to the corner of Ap- 
pleton; a branch from the corner of Appleton south to serve the theater 
and physical education plant on the South Common; and a branch 
running east from the Appleton corner to connect with the present 
tunnel at Pratt Gymnasium. When the College is in a position to under- 
take this program, it will have a system good for all time. And as the 
conduits are now twenty-five years old, the installation of the remaining 
tunnels ought to be undertaken at a not too distant date. 

By the autumn of 1938 the College had completed these seven im- 
portant projects in the development of its plant. The member of the 
Board who had followed each program from its inception to its com- 
pletion was Robert W. Maynard, '02, and in my annual report which 
was printed and mailed to the alumni, I commented on the debt the 
College owed to him for the heavy responsibility he had carried. 

On September 21, 1938, the College opened its one hundred and 
eighteenth year. We had had rain for the past four days, and during 
the last two days the precipitation had been heavy. At ten in the 
morning I presided at the opening faculty meeting, and at two at 
opening chapel. As we left the chapel the sun appeared, but the air 
was uncommonly heavy and humid. Mrs. King and I had decided 
earlier in the day that we must transfer our garden party that afternoon 
for faculty and freshmen to College Hall and I had announced the 


change of location to the college body in chapel. When we reached the 
president's house, we received a long distance telephone from the 
college caterer that his truck was unable to get beyond Worcester 
even with a police escort because of flood conditions. Mrs. King tried 
without success to find some local concern to provide coffee and 

At four o'clock we went to College Hall to receive our guests. The 
first to greet us in the receiving line were Professor and Mrs. Green 
of the Department of Astronomy. Professor Green told us that the 
barometer had fallen faster and farther than he had ever seen it, and 
that we must leave at once to reach home before the storm. Almost 
immediately we were engulfed in the worst hurricane that had struck 
New England for a century. From the windows of College Hall we 
could see large trees bend almost to the ground and then go down. 
The noise of the wind was such that we could not hear other sounds. 
Electric lights went out. The storm increased in intensity but we con- 
tinued to shake hands with our guests. The freshmen had come and so 
had most of the faculty and their wives. 

As soon as we had greeted all our guests I left Mrs. King and them, 
and made my way with great difficulty against the wind and over 
fallen trees to the center of the campus. All our buildings were standing, 
but roofs were gone, windows blown out, hundreds of trees were down, 
and all campus roads and paths were blocked. The picture was in- 
credible. I made my way back to College Hall, our guests left as the 
wind blew itself out, and my wife and I returned to the president's 
house. Fortunately, the roof of the house had been replaced not long 
before, but a large skylight in the center of the roof had been blown 
off" and the awnings and furniture of the porch. We never found any 
trace of them. While we were without electricity, as was every house 
in town, we were one of the few houses with telephone service. 

My wife always kept a large supply of candles and in a few minutes 
the house was a blaze of light. I reached Superintendent Thacher by 
telephone and asked him to pick up the president of Student Council 
and come to my house. Presently Professor Atkinson called in person. 
He said with great formality, "Mr. President, I desire to report that 
the entire roof of my house is lying on the golf course. My children and 
I have moved into the garage. My wife is, I suppose, at Mount Holyoke 
College, though I am unable to communicate with her." 

Thacher, the president of Student Council, and I then made a 
cursory inspection of important campus buildings. The infirmary was 
undamaged, and the power company had promised electricity for our 
central heating plant and infirmary by midnight. No students in dormi- 

tories or fraternity houses had been injured seriously. The roof of Mor- 
row Dormitory, of heavy copper, had been rolled up like paper and 
had then fallen four floors to the ground. It had rebounded to the 
second floor and fallen again. But the noise of the wind had drowned 
out the noise of this heavy roll of copper. Students with leaks in their 
rooms had moved in with other students, and all were in good spirits. 
Everywhere we went I told the students that we would expect them 
in chapel at the usual time the next morning, but in their oldest clothes. 
By midnight our Buildings and Grounds staff had opened a way to 
every fire hydrant on the campus so that in case of fire the apparatus 
could get through. 

The following day, Thursday, dawned clear and warm. Before break- 
fast, my wife had bought fifty young trees from a nurseryman to replace 
the trees lost on the president's grounds. In chapel I faced the entire 
college body. All of the faculty had come and all the undergraduates. 
"Today we begin to rebuild Amherst College," I began. Then I an- 
nounced that all classes and other college exercises were suspended 
till Monday, and that we would be happy to have student volunteers 
to work under the direction of Buildings and Grounds foremen and of 
faculty members experienced with axe and saw. Most of the student 
body volunteered. Thacher had bought up a supply of axes and saws 
and other needed equipment, and the students were divided into gangs 
under experienced leaders. 

My diary contains the following comments: 

Sept. 21 Wednesday. Heavy rain and hurricane. First faculty 
meeting at lo. Opening chapel at 2. Garden party in 
College Hall 4-6. Hurricane strikes at 4 and rages 
3 hours. Terrific destruction; no casualties. 

Sept. 22 Thursday. Clear. Chapel. No classes. No electricity. 
Students all go to work clearing campus, streets, and 
fraternity houses. Thacher and Lloyd Jordan are 
towers of strength. 

Sept. 23 Friday. Cloudy and clearing. No classes. Chapel 
service and then students at work clearing streets 
and campus. Jordan in charge. 

Sept. 24 Saturday. Clear and warm. No classes. Clearing 
campus and president's place continues. Our elec- 
tricity comes on at house at 5:15 p.m. 

On Sunday morning, September 25, occurred a poignant incident, 
a direct result of the hurricane. At 3:30 in the morning I wais awakened 
by the telephone in my bedroom. A gentleman told me that the father 


of one of our students had just died as a result of over-exertion in 
clearing up the debris at his home in Springfield, and the family wished 
me to send the son home at once by automobile. While it seemed to 
me wiser to let the young man sleep through the night and then drive 
down in the early morning, the friend of the family thought otherwise 
and I rang oflT. 

I knew the student, who was living at the Deke House. I dressed, 
stuck a candle in my pocket, and made my way through the wreckage 
in the streets to the Deke House. There I lighted my candle, as the 
electricity had not yet been restored at the fraternities, went to a bed- 
room on the second floor and woke the first undergraduate I found. 
As he opened his eyes and saw the president of the College standing 
beside his bed with a lighted candle, his face registered the incredulity 
he of course felt. I asked him to take me to the bedroom of the student 
I was seeking. There I woke Dick F., asked him to dress, and to come 
with me to the fraternity living room where I broke the news to him 
as best I could. 

He had a car, but I did not wish him to make the trip to Springfield 
alone, as the roads were only partially cleared of debris. His best friend 
lived in the Alpha Delta Phi House. Together we went down there and 
repeated the search with my candle. It was more difficult, as neither 
of us knew our way around the Alpha Delt House as we did the Deke 
House. Presently both young men were on their way to Springfield. 
The trip down took them nearly three hours. 

On Saturday, September 24, I had sent off" a summary report to the 
members of the Board, in which I said that the damage to campus and 
buildings was perhaps the most serious that had been suffered by the 
College in its history. One hundred and thirty-four trees had fallen 
on the campus, one hundred and ten on fraternity properties, some 
three hundred on faculty house properties owned by the College. 
Hallock Grove had been wiped out. The buildings of the College were 
damaged to the extent of about $30,000. 

The damage to our buildings was completely covered by insurance. 
Because various stories are current as to this fact, I may as well state 
the facts. For some months past, our entire insurance problem had 
been under careful study by independent experts in Boston working 
under the direction of Robert W. Maynard, chairman of the Buildings 
and Grounds Committee of the Board. A number of changes in policy 
had resulted from this study and had been put into effect. On Monday, 
September 1 9, two days before the hurricane, our treasurer telephoned 
me that our insurance experts in Boston had just telephoned him that 
our insurance was now, in their opinion, well written and gave us 

adequate coverage except for the item of insurance against wind 
damage, which we had never carried and which had never been dis- 
cussed either in the Board or by the administrative officers of the 

Treasurer Andrews then said to me, "The Board has never authorized 
insurance against wind damage. Shall I bring the matter up at the 
next Board meeting?" 

As I reflected on the question, I looked out of the window. It was 
raining hard and the limbs were blowing in a gusty breeze. "Charlie," 
I replied, "let's not bother the Board. Telephone Boston to put on a 
policy at once." He did. We had not paid our first premium when the 
hurricane struck. The insurance companies paid us in full for all dam- 
age to our buildings. The companies do not write insurance on trees. 

Before we started clearing the campus we had some fifty photographs 
taken as a matter of record, and, as the work went on, we had moving 
pictures taken of work in progress. These are now filed in the Hitchcock 
Memorial Room as a record of the destructive results of the hurricane. 

Almost immediately the College began receiving offers of help from 
individual alumni. As a result, I wrote the Alumni Council suggesting 
that they might wish to appoint a committee to consider how the 
alumni might best assist the College in this emergency. The Executive 
Committee of the Alumni Council at once appointed a special com- 
mittee under the chairmanship of Richardson Pratt, '15. Under Pratt's 
leadership the special committee issued a leaflet telling the story and 
illustrating it with two photographs of the campus taken from the 
east entrance of Johnson Chapel. One was taken in August, 1938, 
and one in October. Because the Council did not wish to interfere with 
the annual alumni gift to the College, the special committee, under 
Pratt's leadership, brought the matter to the attention only of those 
alumni who were thought to be able to give to the hurricane fund with- 
out decreasing their contributions to the annual alumni fund. As a 
result of the work of the special committee, the College received gifts 
from trustees, faculty, alumni, and other friends of the College totaling 
some 525,100. 

In addition to the insurance money and the special alumni gift, the 
trustees appropriated the entire Valentine Fund of $5,000 to pay for 
the cost of reconstruction. The Valentine Fund had come to us under 
the will of Samuel H. Valentine, '66, who had designated it for the 
beautification of the campus. For years the College had used only the 
income. Then Mrs. Valentine sent word to me through her friend, 
Reverend Milo H. Gates, '86, that we ought to use the principal, as 
a much larger fund would come to us on her death. This was the obvi- 


ous opportunity to use the principal for the purpose for which it had 
been designated. 

Lloyd Jordan had again proved himself an able organizer in handling 
the work of the volunteer students. When classes began on Monday, 
Thacher took over with the regular staff and equipment, and in ad- 
dition we retained Warner Brothers & Goodwin of Sunderland, who 
brought their heavy-duty road-building machinery. Stumps had to 
be pulled out and hauled away, grading would be necessary, and we 
wdshed to get the work along before winter set in. 

The Buildings and Grounds Committee called on Arthur A. Shurcliff 
of Boston, our landscape architect, and James Kellum Smith, '15, our 
architect, for advice. They joined in recommending the regrading of 
the campus before replanting. And from a study of the files we found 
that in a report dated March 13, 1925, Frederick Law Olmsted, of 
Olmsted Brothers, had supported strongly a program of regrading 
along identical lines to those now proposed by Shurcliff and Smith. 
The Olmsted letter contained this prophetic paragraph: 

"But in the face of the facts that this bulging slope is clad 
with groves of large, old trees, and that immensely strong 
sentiment and tradition are attached to these trees and to 
the existing general aspect of the whole area between the 
Chapel and the Church, I know — and you know — 
that whatever ultimate excellence might ultimately be 
secured by denuding and reshaping this surface, it would 
never in fact be attempted or seriously considered unless 
some calamity should destroy all the trees at one fell 

The committee approved the plan submitted by landscape architect 
and architect. During the autumn the campus was cleared of debris 
and regraded. In the spring of 1939 some eighty-five trees of sub- 
stantial size were set out in accordance with the Shurcliff plan. The 
trees are white pine, red oak, white oak, rock maple, elm, and beech — 
all trees indigenous to the Connecticut Valley. Planting and finished 
grading were completed by Commencement. 

Among the trees destroyed by the hurricane was the magnificent 
double row of maples extending from the east entrance of the chapel 
to the statue of Noah Webster just west of the church. This statue, as 
we have seen, had been presented to the College in 191 4 by Richard 
Billings, '97. The changes wTOught by the hurricane made this location 
inappropriate, and the Board authorized us to move it to its present 
position just north of Walker Hall. This site had been specifically ap- 


proved by the donor in his deed of gift as his second choice. In the 
course of moving the statue and its foundation, we escaped a serious 
accident. One night a group of students bent on mischief tried to 
knock out the blocks that held the entire structure in place on the 
slope of the steep hill between its old location and its proposed site. 
Had they succeeded, the results might have been serious. Fortunately, 
a campus watchman discovered the students in the act and they fled 
before completing their task. 

One alumnus living in Wisconsin sent us a group of four Wisconsin 
birches, and these were planted just south of Converse Library, where 
they have prospered. The only elm included in the replanting program 
was a gift of Walter A. Dyer, 'oo, who was then editor of the Amherst 
Graduates' Quarterly. He brought it from his farm in Pelham, which 
had been the source a half century earlier where William Austin 
Dickinson had secured the elms which had gone down in the hurri- 

In connection with the regrading, the College, under the advice of 
landscape architect and architect, relocated the drive which circled 
the inner campus, making it a rectangle, hard-surfacing it, and install- 
ing some ancient curbstones. During the progress of the work there 
were many sidewalk superintendents who questioned the program 
adopted by the Board; one of the doubters was in fact a member of 
the trustee committee in charge of the work. But the rest of the com- 
mittee supported Maynard and me in approving the plan of our techni- 
cal advisers, so that we had a minority of only one to deal with. When 
the work was completed and the trees had had a few years of growth, 
there was general agreement that the plan of Shurcliff and Smith, 
which followed the lines of the earlier Olmsted report, had produced a 
result which was eminently satisfactory. Today, after a lapse of a 
dozen years, I know of no one who would wish the program to have 
been different. The calamity suggested by Olmsted had occurred, and 
the campus had been reformed on lines more beautiful than the earlier 
plan. Thanks to the support of the alumni, the cost had been absorbed 
and the College was able to close the year without a deficit. The old 
trees which had gone down had at best only a few years of useful life 
left to them, the new trees would grow in beauty for perhaps another 
half century. 


Chapter XII 

The College opened on September 20, 1 939, in the shadow of war. 
While no immediate changes occurred in the normal campus routine, 
our students and faculty carried on their work with a mounting pre- 
occupation with the tragic events taking place in Europe. The College 
still faced four major problems in the development of its plant. All 
were before the Board and all were under study. 

The most difficult and, to my mind, the most pressing was the eating 
problem, which we had had under study since 1933. A second was the 
housing problem, as our dormitories and fraternity houses could ac- 
commodate only about two-thirds of our undergraduates. A third was 
the overcrowding of our Departments of Biology and Geology. A fourth 
was a fine arts building, for which the funds were now available from 
the estates of William R. Mead and Mrs. Mead. 

Undergraduate opinion had shifted radically on the eating problem 
since 1933. We have noted in an earlier chapter that the Alumni 
Committee had reported unanimously in favor of a program under 
which the College assumed responsibility for providing meals for the 
students, and the recommendations of the committee had been ap- 
proved by the Alumni Council. But at the same time the undergraduates 
had registered their preference for the existing practice of eating by 
fraternity groups. At Commencement in 1 938, Richard M. Rowland of 
the graduating class had published an article calling for "An Eating 
Union" and the pamphlet had carried the favorable comments of six 
members of the faculty, including that of Professor Charles W. Cole. 
The pamphlet was uncommonly well written and its significance was 
enhanced by the fact that the author had been president of Student 
Council and editor-in-chief of The Student. 

On March 15, 1939, appeared the report of a faculty committee 
which I had appointed to study the two problems of undergraduate 
eating and housing. The committee had included Dean C. Scott Porter 
as chairman, and Messrs. Funnell, McKeon, Plough, Salmon, Cadigan, 
and MacMeekin. The committee recommended that the College take 




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•* • 



?: ^K^^ "V V 

steps to provide facilities for feeding the student body as well as to 
provide additional dormitory space sufficient to house the students 
who were now forced to find rooms in the town. It went further, and 
recommended that the College adopt a modified House Plan, under 
which certain dormitories and certain fraternities should be grouped 
into "Houses" along the general lines of the Harvard Houses and the 
Yale Colleges. And it suggested that this program would require an 
expenditure of between a million and a half and two million dollars. 
As to where the College should secure the funds, it made no suggestion. 
It was an admirable report, proposing what the committee conceived 
to be an ideal solution of the problems, but it left to the president the 
problem of finding funds to finance a building program larger than 
the College had ever attempted in its entire history. Edward S. Hark- 
ness, a graduate of Yale, had provided the funds for both the Harvard 
and the Yale programs, but I knew of no Amherst benefactor who could 
do the same for us. Furthermore, I had grave doubts as to whether the 
plan would appeal either to undergraduates or to our alumni. 

After mature reflection, it seemed clear to me that we must aim at a 
more limited objective, a program that was within our means, and at 
the same time one that would unite rather than divide our constitu- 
ency. On November 27, 1939, I presented to the Board a report sug- 
gesting my own solution to the problem by the erection of a building 
on College Street, just west of the Moore Laboratory of Chemistry, 
to be named Valentine Hall. The building proposed would include 
three large dining rooms, a lounge room, and studies and bedrooms 
for some fifty-five students. I suggested that the proposal would not 
only add materially to our dormitory facilities, but that if these rooms 
were assigned to upperclassmen who were not members of any of the 
thirteen fraternities and if the lounge room on the main floor were 
assigned to this group as a meeting room and social center, the proposal 
would offer a solution to the problem of providing facilities for the 
non-fraternity men equivalent to those provided by the fraternities for 
their members. One dining room would be reserved for freshmen, who 
would be required to eat at Valentine. The others would serve the 
non-fraternity men, as well as any fraternity group who desired to eat 
in a college-operated dining program. 

I suggested that the proposed building be named Valentine Hall in 
memory of Samuel H. Valentine of the class of 1866 and his wife, 
Eliza W. Porter Valentine. Valentine had studied law at Columbia 
Law School after graduation, and had then practiced his profession, 
specializing in admiralty law until about 1906 when he had retired 
to manage his investments. He had died in igi6, leaving to the College 


a fund of $5,000 for the beautification of the campus, the principal of 
which we had used, as I have said, in the rehabilitation of the campus 
after the hurricane of 1 938. Under the will of his widow, the bulk of 
the estate, after certain specific bequests, had passed to the Bankers 
Trust Company of New York as trustee. The income was to be paid to 
Mrs. Valentine's sister, Mrs. Lippincott, during her life, and at her 
death was to be distributed to six beneficiaries in equal shares. Mrs. 
Valentine had provided in her will that "in each case the amount 
received . . . shall be called the Valentine Fund and in each case some 
suitable memorial in my memory and in memory of my late husband 
shall be erected with a portion thereof" Amherst College was one of 
the six beneficiaries named in the will. 

Inquiry at the Bankers Trust Company indicated that Amherst 
would receive on the death of the life tenant a sum of well over $300,000. 
The fund was conservatively invested, and the only question was as 
to when the funds would be available for distribution to the ultimate 
beneficiaries. I suggested to the Board that the College now build the 
memorial, using other free college funds for the purpose, and that when 
the Valentine Fund was received, the treasurer replace the funds bor- 
rowed. I pointed out that Valentine Hall, if built, would be an income- 
producing property, since we would receive rent from the fifty-five 
dormitory rooms and the costs of the dining rooms would be covered 
in the charges we made for board. 

The trustees of the College received the report with some reserve. 
They recognized that the program proposed would meet certain needs 
of the institution. But they pointed out that it might be unwise to 
invest college funds in bricks and mortar at a time when Europe was 
at war and when the future looked as uncertain as it did at the time. 
Some of the Board added that college students were very difficult to 
satisfy in the matter of food and that college dining rooms had had a 
checkered history at other institutions. They were, however, prepared 
to authorize our architect to prepare plans and secure estimates of cost. 
During the winter and spring James Kellum Smith and his associates 
designed Valentine Hall and prepared full working drawings and speci- 
fications. At the same time I submitted our proposal in detail both to 
faculty and undergraduates and discussed it at some length with the 
alumni of every city which I visited on my annual alumni trip. I found 
the most enthusiastic approval of the program from faculty, students, 
and alumni, and this of course was most heartening. When the Board 
met again, I was able to assure them that the project would be received 
with enthusiasm by our constituency both at home and in the principal 
alumni centers. 

With the Board, however, the reaction was less favorable. I had 
made it a point to visit a number of them in their offices in Boston, 
New York, and elsewhere. I found two trustees who were in favor of 
immediate action, four who strongly favored laying the matter on the 
table until more favorable times, and the rest had not yet settled in 
their own minds what the College should do. The fact that two of the 
most important committee chairmen were in favor of postponement 
gave me pause. George Pierce, chairman of the Finance Committee, 
and Robert Maynard, chairman of Buildings and Grounds, were men 
in whose judgment I had great confidence. We were close personal 
friends and had worked together for many years on college problems. 
Both took a somber view of the world situation and believed that the 
College should keep as liquid as possible. 

At the Commencement meeting of the Board in 1 940, the matter 
was discussed at length. Our architect did not have final plans and 
estimates in hand, however, and the Board referred the question with 
power to the Executive Committee. On August 28, 1 940, the Executive 
Committee met at the offices of our architects in New York. Pierce 
telephoned me previously that as he and I were not in agreement, he 
had decided not to come to the meeting. Maynard, as chairman of 
Buildings and Grounds, of course attended. Detailed plans and specifi- 
cations were laid before the Executive Committee. E. J. Pinney Com- 
pany of Springfield were the lowest of five bidders. The estimated 
budget for the building, exclusive of furnishings, was $250,000. There 
was general agreement that building costs would rise and that if the 
project were postponed it would not be built for perhaps five years and 
then at substantially higher costs. The Executive Committee voted 
unanimously to proceed at once, and I was of course happy that 
Maynard, who had come to New York with the intention of voting no, 
seconded the motion to build. 

The decision to build Valentine necessitated the razing of the 
Montague house on College Street, which had been bought some years 
before from the widow of Professor Montague. Before the winter set 
in, Valentine Hall was well under way. 

The Board presently raised the question as to what management was 
proposed for the new dining halls. There was some sentiment in favor 
of appointing L. G. Treadway of Williamstown, who was in charge of 
the management of the Lord Jeffery Inn and who had managed the 
cafeteria in Morrow Dormitory since it was established. Treasurer 
Andrews urged the appointment of Treadway, who was now managing 
a number of country inns throughout New England and who had had 
long experience in hotel management. Our experience at Morrow 


Cafeteria made me question whether Treadway could make a success 
of the enterprise. The Board referred the question to a special committee 
made up of Trustees Stearns, Boyden, and Ladd. All of the committee 
had had experience in the field; Stearns and Boyden at Phillips 
Academy, Andover, and Deerfield Academy, and Ladd in the cafeteria 
of a large New York City hospital. 

The committee was unanimous in its decision to authorize me to 
select a local manager who would be responsible directly to me as 
president, and I agreed to accept personal responsibility for the man- 
agement. We all knew that the success of the enterprise would depend 
on the management. The College might build an ideal plant, but unless 
we had first-class management, we would be in continuous trouble. I 
visited Harvard and discussed the problem with President Lowell, who 
had personally selected the manager for the new dining rooms in the 
Harvard Houses. 

As the year progressed and the walls of our new building arose, I 
had numerous applications for the post of manager. Some were from 
men, some from women. But not one of them seemed to me to have 
the experience and the force of character to handle as large an opera- 
tion as ours promised to be. Then came a letter from my friend 
George L. Cadigan, '33, captain of our football team in my first year 
and now rector of the Episcopal Church in Brunswick, Maine. He 
suggested the name of Gordon Bridges, who had recently resigned as 
manager of the dining hall of Moulton Union at Bowdoin College. I 
asked Cadigan to have Bridges come to Amherst immediately for a 
conference. Here was our man. His experience, his personality were 
just what I had been looking for. We quickly came to an agreement. 

Bridges agreed that the accounting procedure for the dining halls 
should be set up on a sound business basis and asked that these pro- 
cedures should not be changed in case he was successful. I agreed. I 
laid down only one fundamental policy for him to follow: he was to 
buy only the best quality and he was never to change the quality. 
The Board would decide what price to charge the students for board. 
If the Board decided to operate at a loss, that was their problem, not 
his. If the Board decided to raise prices for board, that was not his 
concern. But outside of the determination of the Board as to the price 
to be charged, the management was to be entirely in his hands without 
interference from any source. 

My wife worked with me and with our professional advisers on ques- 
tions of furnishings and decoration. I recall the fun we had in selecting 
a design for our china. We asked Jones, McDuffie & Stratton, of Boston, 
to prepare a design featuring Lord Jeffery and the French and Indians. 



We were delighted with the result. Our china made a conversation 
piece, /and we knew that the students would frequently have their 
dates as guests for lunch and dinner. Questions of the quantity to be 
ordered and of kitchen equipment were of covnse referred to Gordon 
Bridges for advice. Our dining room chairs were specially designed 
with an "A" in the rail. We ordered large, medium, and small tables 
for the dining rooms. 

In the spring and sum.mer of 1941 we were concerned by delays in 
construction, and it became necessary to apply an increasing amount 
of pressure on the general contractor. Doubtless his superintendent 
will always remember me, because as month after month went by, my 
conferences with him were carried on in less diplomatic language than 
was customary at the College in its business transactions. The College 
had contracted to feed a large number of students, beginning when they 
arrived for the fall semester. I refused to postpone the deadline. On 
the very day that our students were to eat their first dinner in Valentine 
Hall, we mobilized all our janitors and maids, and started cleaning the 
building from top to bottom, pushing the contractor's men out as our 
staff came down from floor to floor. That night we served dinner. It 
was a tour de force which proved the caliber of Gordon Bridges and 
his new staff. The cost of the building and equipment was about 

Our experience of ten years has proved beyond peradventure that 
Valentine Hall is an outstanding success. It has indicated, I believe, 
that Valentine Hall is one of the most important, if not the most im- 
portant, addition to the plant that the College has ever made. And the 
credit for this accomplishment belongs to its manager, Gordon Bridges. 
I do not, in fact, see how we could have handled the problems which 
developed during the war years without it. And this opinion is, I be- 
lieve, shared by trustees, faculty, and alumni who are close enough to 
the College to know of its day-to-day operations. 

During its first year, the dining rooms served meals to the entire 
freshman class, and, in addition, to the members of the three upper 
classes in Delta Kappa Epsilon, Phi Kappa Psi, Chi Phi, Theta Xi, 
and the Lord Jeff Club. During the following summer it served meals 
to all civilian students, to the students of the War Department Civilian 
Protection School, and to the enlisted men in our Army and Navy 
programs. In spite of rising food costs, rising labor costs, rationing, and 
the difficulties of advance purchasing, the dining room operations for 
the first year paid all costs. And more important for the long-run 
success of the undertaking, the customers were satisfied. In the first 
year we served about 250,000 meals. 


The problems of rising costs and of rationing were proving too much 
for the fraternity dining rooms. In its second year Valentine undertook 
to serve meals to all civilian students and all members of the armed 
services on the campus. During the twelve months it served 588,000 
meals, or more than double the number served in the first year. 

In March, 1943, the College installed in the lounge room on the 
main floor a lounge bar serving sandwiches, hamburgs, ice cream, 
soda, etc. In its third year (1943-44) the dining rooms served 675,000 
meals and, in addition, the lounge bar served over 250,000 customers, 
making a grand total for the year of over 925,000. 

No change was made in the price of board from the opening of Val- 
entine in 1941 until July 1946. Board for civilian students was $9.00 
a week until 1946, when it was raised to Si 0.00 a week. For the year 
1950-51 the price has been Si 0.00 a week. 

When Valentine Hall opened, the Morrow Cafeteria was closed, 
and the space it had occupied was made into additional student rooms. 
During the war, the fraternities which had operated dining rooms, and 
had therefore a generous supply of dining room and kitchen equipment, 
decided to liquidate their investments through Fraternity Business Man- 
agement. The College offered College Hall for the purpose, and the 
entire inventory of such equipment was sold at auction by a professional 
auctioneer. As many, if not most, of the items were no longer in pro- 
duction, the sale netted the fraternities a generous return. The largest 
buyers at the auction were our neighboring colleges, Smith and Mount 

At the conclusion of the war, the College adopted the policy, with 
the entire approval of the undergraduates, of charging all students for 
board in Valentine Hall. All students are served without distinction of 
class or fraternity affiliation. Students bring their dates as guests, and 
on a recent Saturday night, Valentine Hall served some twenty-four 
hundred dinners. A nominal charge is made for guests. Members of 
the faculty and their families, members of the college staff, and visiting 
alumni are free to eat there at will. The public is not served either in 
the dining rooms or in the lounge bar. 

While the Valentine Hall dining rooms have proved an unqualified 
success, and while the upper floors of the building added some fifty- 
five rooms for student occupancy, the original proposal of making 
Valentine the center for the social life of the Lord Jeff Club, which 
includes in its membership any students who are not members of one 
of the fraternities on the campus, did not prove an adequate answer to 
this problem. The lounge bar preempted the lounge room, designed 
for this group of students, and proved to be so important a facility that 

it could not be given up. Another approach to the Lord Jeff Club was 
necessary and was, in fact, made in 1946. 

The by-products of Valentine Hall are perhaps as important as the 
solution of the problem of providing satisfactory food for the student 
body at reasonable prices. One of the most significant in its long-range 
effects is the emphasis on membership in the College rather than on 
membership in a fraternity. Four times a week in the chapel service 
and three times a day in Valentine Hall the students are reminded 
that they are members of the College. The new curriculum emphasizes 
the same fact during the first two years of the college course. I remember 
that when the dining rooms opened for their second year, the students 
as they arrived asked Gordon Bridges where the tables of this or that 
fraternity were located. His reply to each was, "There are no fraternity 
tables. Here you eat as Amherst men." And the response of many who 
had asked the question was, "Well, perhaps that's a good idea." It was. 
Our student body today has a stronger sense of the corporate unity 
of the College than it had in the days when the undergraduates ate 
their meals in fraternity groups. As our students today graduate into 
the body of the alumni, they will undoubtedly have a stronger sense of 
their Amherst fellowship than their brothers who graduated during 
the period when fraternity eating was the common practice on the 

I have dealt in detail with the story of Valentine Hall because of 
the significance which it seems to me to assume in the history of the 
College. But there were other problems in the field of buildings and 
grounds which faced the College at the outbreak of the war in Europe. 
As we noted at the beginning of this chapter, our Biology and Geology 
Departments were seriously overcrowded in the Geology-Biology Build- 
ing. Geology has had a major place in the Amherst picture ever since 
the days of President Hitchcock. The Biology Department had a 
phenomenal development in the decade from 1932 to 1941, which 
resulted in a series of grants for research in this field from the Rocke- 
feller Foundation, the first, as far as I know, made by the Founda- 
tion to an undergraduate college of the size of Amherst. The result of 
these generous grants was to increase the staff in Biology and make 
more necessary the provision of space both for classes and for research 

Meanwhile the College had, not far away, the old Pratt Gymnasium, 
and the obvious question was whether this could be remodeled for 
work in science. I asked the two departments to prepare for me two 
studies, one based on the assumption that Biology would move there. 
I appointed two junior members of these departments to make the 


studies: Dr. Phleger for Geology and Dr. Child for Biology. The result 
of these studies indicated clearly that Pratt Gymnasium could be 
readily adapted for Geology. Plans were then prepared by James Kel- 
lum Smith, and the proposal submitted to the Board. 

With the Board's approval, the work was undertaken in 1941 and 
carried forward as far as possible. Pratt Gymnasium was renamed 
Pratt Museum and was assigned to the Department of Geology, The 
Biology-Geology Building then became the Biology Building. When 
the war was over, the changes were completed, and the Geology De- 
partment completed the move to its new quarters. In 1950 a new 
entrance was added to Pratt Museum. The remodeled building gives 
Geology adequate classrooms and laboratories, and the large room 
that once served for gymnasium exercises and running track now makes 
an uncommonly fine museum room for the display of the elaborate 
collections of the department.* Meanwhile the Biology Department 
has taken over all of the laboratory to the west and installed a large 
lecture room on the top floor as well as additional laboratories and 
classrooms. Both departments are now well equipped for their work. 

The contractor for the remodeling of Pratt Museum and for the 
changes in the Biology Laboratory was Edmund J. Rappoli Co., Inc. 
The costs at Pratt Museum were about $131,000, and for remodeling 
the Biology Laboratory, about $65,000. 

A third major problem before the College in the days immediately 
preceding the war was a fine arts building, to be built from the funds 
received from William R. Mead, '67, and his wife. The problem of loca- 
tion was uncommonly difficult. Mead had died in 1928. In the latter 
years of his life he had discussed the problem of location with me 
frequently and we had walked about the campus together to consider 
appropriate sites. At first he had felt that the lot just north of Converse 
Memorial Library was the best location, but before his death he had 
abandoned this suggestion, and we had not found any other site which 
he felt was suitable for the proposed building. His widow survived him 
some eight years, and the funds coming to the College did not become 
available until after her death in 1 936 and the settlement of her estate. 

Our architect, landscape architect, Professor Charles H. Morgan, II 
(whom the Board appointed to the William R. Mead chair in Fine 
Arts), Maynard of the Board, and I considered the problem from vari- 
ous angles. We could find no available site which seemed to us satis- 
factory. The site which seemed to meet the problems involved was on 

* In 1 95 1 the old swimming pool was floored over, providing an important exten- 
sion of the laboratory and office space in the building. The pool itself was retained 
under the floor for erosion and sedimentation experiments. 


- a^iui 



II— III — _^....-^.>-. 

■^ TO tHE AMHtR!^ MEN 





TO tHElR.COV^^' 

pvx: r 


The War Memorial and its dedication inscribed on tlie steps 

Baseball on Memorial Field; from the left are the Davenport Squash 
Building, the Biology Laboratory, and Pratt Natural History Museum 




t Ar ^ 

Skiing on Memorial Hill in the winter; a portable tow oper- 
ates for college use whenever snow conditions make it possible 

the eastern slope of the campus and this was occupied by the Stearns 
Church. Alfred E. Stearns, '94, the son of the donor of the church, 
was now chairman of the Board, and had, as was to be expected, a 
profound sentiment for the building which his father had made possi- 
ble. Preliminary sketches of a building were prepared for various other 
sites, but none seemed acceptable. And not long after Pearl Harbor, 
both James Kellum Smith, our architect, and Professor Charles H. 
Morgan were commissioned in the Army Air Forces and left for active 
service. The problem was necessarily postponed for consideration after 
the war. 

In addition to these major problems in the field of buildings and 
grounds, the College in 1940 remodeled the Lentell house, on the 
corner of South Pleasant Street and Walnut Street, which had been 
occupied for some time by the Faculty Club. The building when 
renovated was named the Noah Webster House and assigned first for 
student occupancy and later for faculty apartments. The house at 
37 Spring Street, which was owned by the Lord Jeffery Inn, was also 
remodeled for student occupancy and renamed the Leland House in 
memory of the first treasurer of the College. The names were assigned 
arbitrarily, as neither Webster nor Leland had occupied the houses in 
question. After the College's need for the Leland House came to an 
end, it reverted to the Lord JeflTery Inn and was made into apartments. 

A more significant and more permanent development was the re- 
modeling of the house on the east side of South Pleasant Street between 
the theater and the Alumni Gymnasium for the use of the Faculty 
Club. The Faculty Club had existed for many years and had from 
time to time occupied quarters in Morgan Hall, in Converse Memorial 
Library, and across the street in the Lentell house. Some years before, 
the president of the club, the chairman of the Buildings and Grounds 
Committee of the Board, and I had canvassed the problem of a perma- 
nent home for the club, and had agreed that the house occupied at 
the time by Sidney White would be the ideal location. The house had 
once belonged to Colonel Elijah Dickinson, from whom the College 
had acquired its small campus in 1820. It had later belonged to Judge 
Dickinson, an important figure in the town. In 1924 title had been 
acquired by the College subject to a life estate in Sidney White and his 
wife. White died in the summer of 1941 ; his wife had predeceased him; 
and the College came into possession of the property. With the ap- 
proval of the Board and in collaboration with the officers of the Faculty 
Club, particularly Professor French and Walter Dyer, we remodeled 
the building for club purposes. James Kellum Smith, college architect, 
prepared the plans for the operation, and it was carried through by 


the college staff at a cost of $19,700. We decided to leave for the time 
being the remodeling of the second floor rear until experience should 
indicate that a suite of parlor, bedroom, and bath installed there might 
be used to advantage. 

Frank G. Nelson, '73, who had been my father's roommate in college, 
was interested in the program for the club and I took him over the 
building. He noted that the club had an old pool table and asked me 
if no one in the club played billiards. I pointed out that the members 
had had no opportunity to play, as they had no table. He said he re- 
garded pool as a debased game and would certainly do nothing to 
promote its play, but offered to give the club a new billiard table. 
When he found that billiards had become more popular than pool, 
he gave a second table. 

The Faculty Club performs an extremely useful function for the 
College. It improves faculty morale and it brings into fellowship the 
newer and younger members of the faculty. Its new quarters have 
proved admirable for the purposes of the club. And on Nelson's death, 
a part of his generous bequest to the College was for the maintenance 
of the club. 

Meanwhile important changes were taking place in the Board of 
Trustees. The Reverend Cornelius H. Patton, who had been a member 
of the Board since 1 905 and had served for many years on the Com- 
mittee on Buildings and Grounds, died on August 17, 1939. Fred- 
erick J. E. Woodbridge, who had joined the Board in 1920 and had 
been one of its most influential members, tendered his resignation for 
reasons of health in 1939 and died a year later, on June i, 1940. These 
were the only remaining members of the Board of 1 92 1 when I myself 
had been elected a trustee. And in June 1941 Robert W. Maynard 
tendered his resignation, for personal reasons, after a service of twelve 
years. Less than two years later occurred the death of Lucius R. East- 
man, who had served as trustee for twelve years, as chairman of the 
Executive Committee for eleven years, and as chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Buildings and Grounds for one year. Eastman had always 
been interested in the college plant and had been for years a member 
of the special building committee, as we have seen in previous chapters. 
Maynard, on the other hand, had been for years the spearhead of the 
development of the plant, and he and I had administered contract 
after contract for the erection of the new buildings. He had rendered a 
very unusual service to the College as a trustee and his resignation was 
accepted with profound regret. The Board named him a trustee- 
emeritus in appreciation of his service, but lost the value of his counsel 
and judgment in the work of the Board. 

Other trustees, of course, joined the Board, trustees who were to 
render genuine service to the College. Here, however, we are con- 
cerned primarily with the college plant, and I can mention only those 
who were to play some part in this field of trustee responsibility. On 
Maynard's retirement from the Board, the chairmanship of the Com- 
mittee on Buildings and Grounds was held for one year by Walter S. 
Orr, 'i2, and for three years by Frederick S. Bale, '06. Orr is a partner 
in the firm of White & Case, lawyers, of New York. Bale was at the 
time vice-president of the Bankers Trust Company of New York. 
Both men were ready to devote time and thought to the work of the 
committee, but the exigencies of war had suspended our important 
work in carrying forward the building program. In 1942 Richmond 
Mayo-Smith, '09, was elected to the Board, and in 1944 he became 
chairman of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. Mayo-Smith was 
president of the Plimpton Press of Norwood, Massachusetts. Under 
his leadership the program of the years immediately following the war 
was carried through. He continued as chairman of Buildings and 
Grounds until the end of his term as alumni trustee. Then, after ab- 
sence from the Board for a few months, he was elected to the life Board 
and made chairman of the Board to succeed Alfred E. Stearns. His 
untimely death within the year cut short his service in this position of 
leadership. He was succeeded as chairman of Buildings and Grounds 
by Carroll B. Low, '17, of the New York bar. 

In the early days of the war, the College suflfered a grievous loss in 
the death of two of the senior members of its administrative staff, 
Charles A. Andrews died in November 1 940 after a service of nearly 
ten years as treasurer, and the following July, Frederick S. Allis died 
after a service of twenty-seven years to the Alumni Council and of 
twelve years as secretary of the Board of Trustees. Andrews had worked 
closely with Superintendent Thacher and the president on many of 
the problems of buildings and grounds. Allis' influence gave the guiding 
direction to all of the activities of the alumni in behalf of the College. 
In the campaign for the Centennial Gift, which had produced some 
$3,000,000 of which over S8oo,ooo had been devoted to plant purposes, 
in the campaign for funds for the Alumni Gymnasium, in the work of 
Richardson Pratt's committee to secure funds to repair the hurricane 
damage, and in countless ways in his day-to-day work, Allis had pro- 
vided the means for the continuous development of the buildings and 

The Board elected Paul D. Weathers, '15, treasurer to succeed An- 
drews, and he took office in April 1941. During the ten years that he 
has held the office of treasurer, he has played a larger and larger part 


in the management and development of the college plant. And since 
the election of Charles W. Cole as president in 1946, Weathers has 
assumed general responsibility, in consultation with the president, 
for this aspect of the administration of the affairs of the College, in 
addition to his prime responsibility for the college finances and invest- 
ment policy. 

As the war progressed, entirely new problems were, of course, pre- 
sented to the college administration and to the trustees. One of these 
was the use to be made of the fraternity houses and the related problem 
of fraternity finances. At its meeting on March 21, 1942, three months 
after Pearl Harbor, the Board initiated a program which had been 
worked out in some detail on the campus by the administrative officers 
of the College in consultation with Arthur Davenport, '32, the executive 
officer of Fraternity Business Management. As a result, the thirteen 
chapters on the campus, under the leadership of Fraternity Business 
Management, adopted a pooling program for the year 1942-43, which 
worked excellently. Under this program the operating receipts and the 
operating expenses of the thirteen chapters were handled on a pool 
basis, so that all chapters shared equitably so far as their financial 
operations were concerned. 

On October 24, 1942, the Board took further action. Its resolution 
laid down the program which was followed until the close of the war 
with marked success. Amherst was, as far as I can find, the first college 
to draft such a comprehensive program. It met the needs of the armed 
services as well as of the fraternities, and some parts of it were copied 
by other colleges in other parts of the country which were facing some- 
what similar problems. The Board's resolution follows: 

"The Board of Trustees of Amherst College at its meeting on Octo- 
ber 24 considered again the probable effects of the war upon the finan- 
cial structure of the thirteen fraternity Chapters at the College. The 
decline in enrollment at the College, which was considered by the 
Trustees at the meetings in January, 1942, and March, 1942, now 
seems likely to take effect in the immediate future. Under these condi- 
tions the Trustees believe it may soon be impossible for the thirteen 
Chapters to operate their houses. The Chapters will be faced, however, 
with heavy fixed charges for taxes, insurance and mortgage interest. 

"The Trustees believe that the College will be requested by the 
Government to place its facilities at the disposal of the Government for 
housing, feeding, and training specialists at government expense. It 
seems probable that under these conditions the College can use some 
or all of the Chapter houses for housing such trainees. Our experience 

thus far indicates that the Government will not wish to make contracts 
with individual fraternities but will operate under an overall contract 
with the College. 

"The Trustees of the College desire to present this question to the 
thirteen Chapters at their corporate meetings to be held presently, 
with the suggestion that in the opinion of the Trustees the Chapters 
will be acting in the national interest, in the interests of the College, 
and in their own interests if they take such action as is appropriate to 
place their facilities at the disposal of the Government through the 
College. The Trustees respectfully recommend to the Chapters that 
by formal vote they authorize the College at the discretion of the 
Board of Trustees to take over the houses for housing of personnel on a 
basis of return to the Chapters to be determined by the Trustees of 
the College. 

"It is the desire of the Trustees of the College to preserve the tradi- 
tions of the College to the fullest extent possible. The Trustees do not 
intend to place at the disposal of the Government the secret meeting 
rooms of the Chapters. The College will deal with the fraternities 
through the Office of Fraternity Business Management." 

Each of the thirteen Chapters on the campus at its corporate meeting 
in November, 1942, adopted a resolution authorizing the appropriate 
graduate officers of the Chapters to rent the Chapter property to the 

In January, 1943, the College executed leases of the Chapter houses 
of Chi Phi and Phi Kappa Psi to house naval personnel; in ]VIarch 
the College leased the Theta Xi house for military personnel. Members 
of these houses were transferred to other houses or to dormitories at 
their option. At the conclusion of the year all the houses ceased to 
function as fraternity houses. In June 1943, Chi Phi, Phi Kappa Psi, 
and Beta Theta Pi were rented to the College for naval personnel. 
Alpha Delta Phi, Psi Upsilon, and Delta Upsilon were rented to the 
College to house freshmen. Chi Psi, Phi Delta Theta, Delta Kappa 
Epsilon, and Delta Tau Delta were rented to the College as dormitories 
for upperclassmen. Theta Delta Chi and Theta Xi were closed until 
their facilities were needed. At the opening of the summer session of 
1943, the Student Council voted to suspend rushing for the duration, 
and this action was approved by the College. The secret meeting rooms 
were locked and sealed, and appropriate steps were taken to preserve 
the Chapter records. 

From time to time, as the war progressed, the uses to which the 
individual Chapter houses were put were modified to meet changing 


conditions. Some were closed much of the time; some were in con- 
tinuous use. For the first time since 1837, Amherst became a non- 
fraternity college, and administrative officers and faculty had an 
opportunity to observe the advantages and disadvantages of such a pro- 
gram. When the war closed, the Board adopted a resolution outlining 
the conditions under which the Chapters would be permitted to reopen, 
and the Chapters accepted the conditions. The pool which had been 
operated by Fraternity Business Management under the direction of 
Arthur Davenport was closed out. The Chapter houses were repaired 
and redecorated to restore them to the condition in which they had 
been when taken over by the College, and the balance remaining was 
distributed to the separate Chapters. Davenport had done an out- 
standing piece of work in the development and management of the 
pool program. 

The first of the many units to be sent to the College by the War and 
Navy Departments was the War Department Civilian Protection 
School. In January the College offered its facilities to the Chemical 
Warfare Service of the War Department, and the offer was accepted. 
The War Department Civilian Protection School opened in Amherst 
in March 1942. The College provided the facilities; the War Depart- 
ment provided the instruction; and the Office of Civilian Defense 
selected the students, who were mature men and women from the 
eastern seaboard engaged in civilian defense activities in their cities 
and towns. 

Classes averaged fifty students and were in session for ten days in 
every fortnight. The College housed them under special arrangements 
with the Lord Jeffery Inn and fed them in Valentine Hall. We rented 
the house at 22 Orchard Street for administrative offices of the school 
and for housing the enlisted personnel stationed permanently at the 
school. We made over the field house on Pratt Field for classrooms, 
and the west end of Pratt Field and Cowls Field on South Pleasant 
Street south of the Boston & Maine tracks were used by the school for 
demonstration purposes. The College made no charge to the govern- 
ment for its facilities beyond a charge of S25.00 to each student for 
room and board, and the charge for 22 Orchard Street. Lloyd Jordan 
was made the liaison between the College and the officers of the school. 

Thereafter, the College received trainees from the Army, the Navy, 
and the Air Corps, and developed programs of instruction for each 
unit assigned to the campus. The contracts under which we operated 
were worked out by Treasurer Weathers and Comptroller Johnson, 
and provided fair and adequate compensation to us for the use of our 
physical facilities and the instruction given by the faculty. We need 

not recount here the various units which we received. For most of 
the war, our physical facihties were taxed by the number of trainees 
on the campus in addition to the dwindling number of civihan students. 
Our relations with the officers assigned to command were happy and 
cooperative. It is amusing to recall now after the lapse of a decade a 
single instance in which an officer questioned the adequacy of the 
facilities we placed at the disposal of the government. 

On February 15, 1943, the College received a detachment of soldiers 
from the Army Air Corps for instruction in the Pre-Meteorology C 
program. The detachment numbered some two hundred or more, and 
with the advance approval of the commanding officer we assigned 
North and South Colleges to house the unit. After the unit had been 
here for a few weeks, I received a call from a second lieutenant who 
had been sent up from Headquarters in North Carolina to make an 
inspection. We may call him Lieutenant McCarthy. After a brief talk 
I asked Comptroller Johnson to take the lieutenant over the campus 
and show him the physical facilities being used by the unit, including 
North and South Colleges, Valentine Hall, the Gymnasium, and the 
classrooms. Within a few minutes they returned, and the following 
conversation took place. Comptroller Johnson returned to his office 
and left me to deal with the lieutenant. Meanwhile, a full colonel of the 
regular army had called on me on other matters, and he remained 
during the exchange between the lieutenant and me. 

Lieutenant McCarthy: "I am not satisfied with North and South. 
You will have to move the trainees to Pratt and Morrow." 

SK: "I am very sorry you are dissatisfied with North and South. 
Both are sound dormitories and have been in continuous use for our 
civilian students until a few weeks ago, when we moved out the 
civilians to provide space for the Air Corps. 

Lt. McC: "Nevertheless, I am not satisfied. I would like Pratt and 

SK: "Sorry, lieutenant, but Pratt and Morrow are not available. 
Besides, I have no authority to issue orders to the trainees in the Air 
Corps. The commanding officer can move them out if he wishes." 

Lt. McC: "Then we may have Pratt and Morrow?" 

SK: "Certainly not. We have no other space available at the moment. 
If North and South are not satisfactory, perhaps the Air Corps will 
wish to put the trainees in tents on the campus. What is your criticism 
of North and South?" 

Lt. McC: "They are too old. I do not like the type of construction." 

SK: "What is your experience in construction, lieutenant? Were 
you an engineer in civilian life before you entered the Army?" 


Lt. McC: "No, I was a certified accountant." 

SK: "I know the construction of North and South. It is my business 
to know this. My son roomed in North. Two young men of the family 
of the present Secretary of War roomed in those buildings not long 
ago. If North and South were good enough for them, they are adequate 
for these trainees." 

Lt. McC: "I have just come from H- College, and when I objected 
to their old dormitory, the president moved the trainees to a new 

SK: "I have no responsibility for anything at H- College. But I 
must positively refuse to give you Pratt and Morrow. We did not ask 
the Air Corps to send a detachment here; they asked us to receive it. 
The commanding officer of the detachment inspected North and South 
before the detachment arrived. I have had no complaint from him or 
from any officer or enlisted man of the detachment." 

Lt. McC: "What would you do if I ordered the detachment to leave 

SK: "I would offer these facilities to the Navy, which has already 
inspected them and approved them." 

The Colonel: "I think he has you there, lieutenant." 

Lt. McC: "I have my orders to carry out." 

SK: "They are foolish orders." 

Lt. McC: "What do you suggest that I do?" 

SK: "Perhaps you would like to have me call up the Secretary of 
War and ask him for advice, or the Chief of the Corps of Engineers?" 

Lt. McC: "Certainly not." 

SK: "Then, lieutenant, I suggest that you take a walk with Colonel 
Blank. He has had long experience in the Army. Perhaps he would be 
willing to stroll about the campus with you." 

The colonel, who was smoking a long, black cigar, volunteered 
to take a walk with the young lieutenant. I did not see Lieutenant 
McCarthy again until the following morning. Then he came to my 
office with his face in a broad smile. 

SK: "Good morning, lieutenant." 

Lt. McC: "Good morning, Mr. King. The matter is settled." 

SK: "In what way is it settled?" 

Lt. McC: "My orders have been interpreted. I telephoned Head- 
quarters in North Carolina twice. They have interpreted my orders 
in the sense in which you interpreted them." 

SK: "Fine work, lieutenant. We shall do all we can for the comfort 
of the Air Corps trainees." 

We did. They were with us twelve months. They were well taken care 

The old grove and Webster's statue before tlie 19,'>8 hurricane 

I e 1 i i .< i 


of and well taught. And on the final examinations, given by outside 
examiners, they made a most creditable record. 

We were, of course, inspected many times, both by officers of the 
Army and Navy. The Army made two suggestions which we were glad 
to carry out. We added the steel fire escapes on North and South Col- 
leges, and we enlarged the refrigerator capacity of Valentine Hall, 
the latter a change which has proved useful in peacetime, as the dining 
rooms and kitchens have served so many more customers than we had 
expected them to serve when the equipment was installed. 

As the war developed and the casualty lists were published, I began 
to reflect on the problem of a War Memorial. The Board had never 
been able to agree on a memorial for the Amherst men who were lost 
in World War I. A generous alumnus, Frank L. Babbott, Jr., had 
given the College a fund of S8o,ooo to establish the Amherst Memorial 
Fellowships, and the names of the Amherst men who had fallen had 
been painted in gold letters in the lobby of Converse Memorial Library. 
But this had never seemed to me adequate recognition by the College, 
and the parents of some of the men had at one time felt bitterly about 
the College's failure to do more. It occurred to me now that perhaps 
we would be more successful in obtaining agreement in the Board on 
the problem if we considered it before the war was over. I began to 
ponder the matter in my walks about the campus. 

The requirements for a memorial I formulated for my own guidance. 
It must be beautiful; it must, of course, be useful; it must be something 
that would not become obsolete with the passage of time and the 
changing patterns of student life; and it must be something that the 
student body of future years would see in their everyday life on the 
campus, not something that they would see because of some college 
requirement that they attend chapel exercises or class exercises. 

One day, as I was walking about the campus, I stopped on the 
southern edge to look at the magnificent view of the Holyoke Range 
extending from the Pelham Hills on the east to the Connecticut River 
on the west. To the southeast was the beautiful expanse of Hitchcock 
Field, where companies of soldiers were then drilling, to the southwest 
the impressive mass of our physical education buildings. But directly 
in front of me were some five acres of wild land, ungraded, unused, 
and awaiting development. There, I saw, was our War Memorial 
right at my feet: a Memorial Field, beautifully framed and command- 
ing the finest prospect the College had. I could see it crowded with 
students on an afternoon in spring or autumn, and I knew that as 
long as the College remained, its young men of each generation would 
need outdoor playing fields. The particular games they played might 


change from decade to decade; but they would always play competitive 
games out-of-doors. And our present playing fields were inadequate for 
a college of eight to nine hundred students. 

Our college architect, James Kellum Smith, was in uniform, but 
Arthur Shurcliff, our landscape architect, was available. I telephoned 
him and asked him to come to Amherst. He was as enthusiastic as I. 
So were most of the members of the faculty with whom I discussed the 
problem. The members of the staff of our Physical Education Depart- 
ment who were not absent in the services were equally enthusiastic. 
Meanwhile, I had raised the general question with the Board. On 
May 22, 1943, the Board voted to erect a War Memorial at the end of 
the war, and asked the Buildings and Grounds Committee to study the 
problem. I suggested my plan to the Committee, and in June 1944 
the Board, on the recommendation of the Committee, authorized the 
expenditure of $500 for preliminary plans. In Washington I outlined 
the suggestion to J. K. Smith, who gave his approval. He added that 
the ancient Greeks, when they wished to build a memorial, selected 
a site with a beautiful natural view and one that was a little withdrawn 
from the activity of day-to-day living. He added that the suggestion 
under consideration seemed to him to conform to the Greek tradition 
as he knew it. 

At the autumn meeting of the Board in 1 944, Arthur Shurcliff pre- 
sented his plans and made a short address of explanation. The trustees 
were so impressed with the beauty of his sketches and with his presenta- 
tion that they unanimously accepted the program and authorized me 
to seek funds from the alumni for its execution. The Memorial was to 
be in recognition of the Amherst men who had fallen in both World 

While the trustees were unanimous in their action, the secretary of 
the Board did not share their opinion. This would have been a matter 
of no significance had he not been at the same time secretary of the 
Alumni Council. He and a small minority of alumni believed in what 
they called "a living memorial," and favored an endowment for 
scholarship purposes. To me, nothing could be more living than play- 
ing fields, but I was unable to convince him. He was, of course, in 
constant touch with the Alumni Fund Committee, and they followed 
his lead. I asked the privilege of appearing before them, which was 
granted. After hearing the proposal and looking over the sketches and 
learning that the Board of Trustees was unanimous, the Alumni Fund 
Committee generously offered to devote the Alumni Gift of that year 
to the War Memorial as planned. The response of the alumni body 
was most generous. Thirty-four hundred alumni gave over Si 00,000, 

the largest gift for more than a decade. The entire cost of the War 
Memorial and Memorial Field was about Si 20,000. 

At the spring meeting of the Board in 1945, we were authorized to 
let the contract for the grading to the Osborn Barnes Company of 
Danbury, Connecticut, of which H. Sanford Osborn, '07, was the head. 
The quadrangle was the work of Richard Bathelt of Holyoke and his 
associates and the men of our own staff. The great granite circle came 
from the Chelmsford quarries, the granite posts and seats from the 
quarries at Deer Island, Maine. The Alumni Fund Committee which 
had raised the funds was headed by Alvah E. Davison, '20, who was 
ably assisted by Carroll B. Low, '17. The names which were later 
incised on the Memorial were passed on by a committee of which 
John J. McCloy, '16, who had served as Assistant Secretary of War 
throughout the war, was chairman. The committee included, in addi- 
tion, Claude M. Fuess, '05, Professor Harold H. Plough, '13, lately 
major in the Army, and Professor F. Curtis Canfield, '25, lately lieuten- 
ant commander in the United States Naval Reserve. 

The War Memorial was dedicated on Sunday morning, June 16, 
1 946, in the presence of an audience of two thousand, including the 
families of the Amherst men who gave their lives in World War II. 
The invocation and benediction were given by Reverend Henry Pitney 
Van Dusen, president of Union Theological Seminary. I spoke briefly, 
and a memorable address was delivered by John J. McCloy, '16. The 
academic procession, including trustees and faculty, moved slowly 
down from the east entrance of Johnson Chapel between two lines of 
seniors; veterans who had volunteered for the occasion paced up and 
down beside the Memorial; planes from the Army Air Force at West- 
over Field flew over and dipped their wings. It was, I think, the most 
moving ceremony in which I have ever participated. 

As the war drew toward a close, we were faced with the many 
problems involved in reconverting to a peacetime college. During the 
war years the College had received for training in government programs 
some 4379 men and women, distributed as follows: 

Army 2255 

Navy 674 
Chemical Warfare 

(Civilian Protection) 1450 

We now had important items of unfinished business in the field of build- 
ings and grounds. The most serious and the most immediate was the 
problem of housing the large number of civilian students who would 
flock to the campus the following autumn. We could anticipate a large 


freshman class coming to us directly from the schools, as well as vet- 
erans returning to complete their interrupted college courses. 

I prepared a comprehensive report on the subject under date of 
December i o, 1 945, and submitted it to the Board at a special meeting 
called for December 19 to consider the situation. In summary, the 
problem could be stated in these terms: 

Normal housing capacity of our five dormitories 325 
Normal capacity of thirteen chapter houses and 

proposed Lord Jeff Club 350 

Total 675 

Pre-war enrollment 850 

Commuters 50 800 

Shortage 125 

For nearly a century Amherst had housed some of its students In 
homes in the town. With the housing shortage, this was now impracti- 
cable. The faculty and I were in agreement that Amherst as a residen- 
tial college should assume the responsibility for housing all its students 
either in dormitories or chapter houses, except those who lived in the 
neighborhood and whom we classified as commuters. In 1939-40, 
studies had been made for two new dormitories to be built on the eastern 
side of the campus just west of Stearns Church. These had been sub- 
mitted to the Board, but no action had been taken by the trustees. 
Building costs had risen substantially since that date and might well 
rise further. Time was, therefore, running against us. 

We all knew why the Board hesitated to take this important step; 
it was out of consideration for our chairman, Alfred E. Stearns, whose 
father's gift had made possible the erection of the church. The church 
had not been used for a dozen years and was not likely to be used again. 
After outlining the pressing need facing the College, I suggested a 
formula to meet the situation. My proposal was that the Board au- 
thorize the razing of the church and the immediate erection of the two 
dormitories, and that we name one dormitory Stearns Hall and the 
other James Hall. I suggested, in addition, that in each hall we place 
a bronze plaque: one in recognition of President Stearns, his son 
(donor of the fund for the church), and his grandson, the chairman 
of the Board; the other in recognition of D. Willis James and his son, 
Arthur Curtiss James, whose services on the Board had extended from 
1 891 to 1938. The removal of the church would, in addition, provide 
the only site suitable for the Mead Fine Arts Building which was in 
the offing. 

The formula solved the Board's dilemma. The Board unanimously 

approved the razing of the church in the discretion of the Committee 
on Buildings and Grounds and the immediate erection of the two 
dormitories. It left the problems of exact site and of contract to a 
committee of three: our architect, Mayo-Smith (chairman of the 
Buildings and Grounds Committee), and the president. The plans 
were completed at once by James Kellum Smith. The problem of a 
contractor, however, was not so simple. We wished to retain a firm 
which would give us a fixed-price contract with a guaranteed date for 
completion, and at this particular time most of the contractors whom 
we approached were unwilling to do both. Our architect suggested to 
us the firm of Edmund J. Rappoli, Co., Inc., of Cambridge, which 
had done a large amount of work under the direction of McKim, 
Mead & White at the University of Vermont. Our committee then 
awarded the contract to Rappoli by a vote of two to one, one of the 
rare instances where there was not unanimity. 

Ground was broken in late February before the frost was out of the 
ground. Work was pushed rapidly by the contractor, and one of the 
dormitories was ready for students when college opened in September, 
The other was completed and occupied a few weeks later. The choice 
of Rappoli had been sound, and both the committee and the Board 
were entirely satisfied with the result. Both dormitories contain house 
libraries as well as social rooms, and both are now assigned to members 
of the freshman class. The total cost was about $497,000 for the two 

At another special meeting of the Board, held early in January, 
1 946, the trustees authorized us to apply to the federal government for 
emergency housing for married veterans. This was a problem the Col- 
lege had never before faced. Our application was granted and the 
Federal Housing Authority erected, at government expense, ten tem- 
porary apartment buildings on the eastern slope of the campus below 
the church, containing sixty-one housekeeping apartments. The apart- 
ments were furnished by the government and were ready for occu- 
pancy and, in fact, occupied in the summer. The College expended 
from its funds about $9,400 to make this project possible. The apart- 
ments were rented exclusively to married veterans on a scale of rentals 
fixed by the College and approved by the government. We were re- 
quired to set up a separate set of accounts for the project. If we made 
money, the profit was to be turned over to the government. If we lost 
money, on the other hand, the loss was ours. Fortunately, we were 
able to operate without loss. The temporary buildings are the property 
of the College. 

While our G.I, Village was the best emergency housing that I ob- 


served on any campus, and while it was enthusiastically received by 
the married veterans, it is to be hoped that in the near future it will 
have served its purpose and can be razed. In addition, we set up in the 
basement of Morrow Dormitory a battery of Bendix washing machines 
for the use of the wives of veterans, each equipped with a device col- 
lecting a dime for each wash put through the machine. 

When the Board outlined its general policy on fraternities at the close 
of the war, it included in its statement of policy a paragraph announc- 
ing that the College would provide housing and social facilities for 
the students who did not belong to fraternities comparable to those 
provided by the chapter houses. When the Board came to Amherst for 
its Commencement meeting in 1945, I suggested to them the possi- 
bility of purchasing the fine property at 50 Lincoln Avenue with a 
frontage of 325 feet and a large mansion commanding an incomparable 
view of the Berkshire Hills. The property had once been given to the 
College by Edward Alexander Strong, and, as we saw in a previous 
chapter, had been sold by the College for $9,000, as the Board at that 
time considered it too far from the campus. The College now repur- 
chased the property, or, rather, that portion of it fronting on Lincoln 
Avenue, for Si 2,500, and a few months later it was remodeled for the 
Lord Jeff Club on plans of our college architect. The cost of recon- 
struction amounted to approximately $77,000. The house now fur- 
nishes the Lord Jeff Club with an excellent home for the first time. 

When the Board elected me as the eleventh president of Amherst 
College in the spring of 1 932, the only instructions I received were com- 
municated to me by the president of the Board, George A. Plimpton. 
He gave them to me in these words, couched in the Yankee vernacular, 
"Stanley, go up to Amherst and lick the college into shape." I had 
done my best to carry out the mandate. My fourteen years had in- 
cluded years of the severest depression the country had ever faced, a 
flood, a hurricane, and a World War. The program which I had laid 
out in connection with the development of the plant was still un- 
finished: we had not built the Mead Fine Arts Building, which I had 
discussed at length with Mr. Mead a quarter of a century before, 
Williston Hall and Walker Hall needed attention, and Pratt Museum 
and the Biology Building had been only partly reconverted to their 
new purposes when the work had been interrupted by war. But I 
knew that the work of a president of a living, growing college is never 
finished. These projects and the New Curriculum, which we had de- 
veloped during the war years and which had been approved by both 
faculty and trustees, would be carried out by my successor. 

On July I, 1946, Charles Woolsey Cole, '27, assumed his duties as 

the twelfth president of the College. My wife and I had already moved 
from the president's house of which we were so fond, and in which she 
had done so much to add beauty and warmth for all our guests, 
students, faculty, trustees, alumni, and friends of the College. We 
moved to the Kings House at 41 Lincoln Avenue, which she had 
created a decade earlier from an ancient house in Enfield and a pre- 
Revolutionary inn in Greenwich, Massachusetts. This house will ulti- 
mately pass into the hands of the College as a gift from us both, though 
its creation was her work alone. 


Chapter XIII 

President Cole's administration began auspiciously with the de- 
parture of the last army officers assigned to the College. The last army 
units had already left. Veterans were flocking back to the College on 
their discharge from the armed services, and a large freshman class 
entered direct from the schools. The enrollment of the College was 
some fifty per cent in excess of normal. This necessarily resulted in 
crowded housing conditions, in an overload on the dining halls, and 
in a more intensive use of all of the facilities of the College. The com- 
pletion of Stearns and James Halls in the autumn of 1946 greatly re- 
lieved the pressure on crowded housing of students. The cost of the 
new dormitories was borne by current funds and by unrestricted en- 
dowment funds. 

With the accession of the new president, the responsibility for the 
maintenance and development of the college plant to meet the needs 
of the College was assumed by the treasurer, Paul D. Weathers, under 
the direction of the Committee on Buildings and Grounds of the Board, 
of which Mayo-Smith was now chairman. The completion of the new 
dormitories, the purchase or lease of additional houses for faculty 
occupancy, and the completion of the work of remodeling Pratt Mu- 
seum and the Biology Building were their early problems. The con- 
struction work involved in Pratt Museum and in the Biology Building 
was done by Edmund J. Rappoli, Co., Inc., of Cambridge, the con- 
tractor who had built the new dormitories. The plans for the re- 
modeUng were substantially those we had developed earlier and the 
completion of which had been interrupted by the war. 

Meanwhile our architect, James Kellum Smith, was working with 
Professor Charles H. Morgan, of our Fine Arts Department, and with 
the treasurer on plans for the proposed Mead Building of Fine Arts 
to be located on the eastern edge of the main campus. We have al- 
ready commented on Mead's long service to the College both as archi- 
tect and as alumnus. He had died in 1928. On the death of his widow 
in 1936, the College had received two trust funds set up by Mead 

r'? «oiii 



iX. u^HbK- 




and, in addition, the bulk of Mrs. Mead's estate. The total of these 
gifts had amounted to $919,635. It was the second largest gift ever 
received by the College up to that time for college purposes, exceeded 
only by the bequest of Frank L. Babbott, '78. The gift had been 
formally accepted by the Board on October 10, 1936. 

In addition. Mead had secured for the College, with the cooperation 
of Dwight Morrow, one of the largest gifts the College had received 
from an individual not a graduate of the College — the gift of Ed- 
mund C. Converse of the Converse Library. And Mead alone had 
secured the additional gift made by Converse in his will of $200,000 
for the care and maintenance of the library. 

Mead had expressed his intentions for the use of his fund in Para- 
graph 3 of Trust Deed #2, and in a letter dated December 5, 1924, ad- 
dressed to the trustees. In the Trust Deed he had said: "Without in 
any way qualifying the absolute character of payments which may 
be made to The Trustees of Amherst College, the party of the first 
part desires here to state that it is his hope and desire that The Trustees 
of Amherst College shall, with such property and funds in such amounts 
as they, in their full discretion, may determine, establish ... a Pro- 
fessorship of the Fine Arts at Amherst College, erect and, if already 
erected, then amplify a building, which building can be a worthy 
repository of the Fine Arts and an aid in the activities and w^ork of 
such Professorship, and endow and provide for the activities and the 
furnishing and equipment from time to time of such building." 

In his letter to the trustees Mead had said: "I do not wish to tie 
the hands of the trustees. They must use their own judgment in the 
administration of this trust. But they will do so, I am sure, with no less 
freedom because I thus adjure them to give true effect to the purpose 
of the donor," 

Mead had discussed his plans and his dreams for a fine arts building, 
as we have seen in an earlier chapter, with Plimpton, Morrow, and 
me in the 1 920's, and we had kept the entire Board informed of our 
talks, although the secretary of the Board had not mentioned in the 
minutes our informal reports to the Board from time to time on the 
subject. And Mead and I had walked about the campus on several 
occasions discussing his ideas of a possible site. 

When the funds had come to the College in 1936-37, I had had 
our architect and Professor Morgan initiate studies for the building. 
But the problem of a satisfactory site had been a difficult one, as we 
have seen, and was not solved until my final year in the president's 
office, when the Board had authorized the razing of Stearns Church 
and the building of the two new dormitories. 


Now the plans came before the Board at the April meeting in 1 948, 
some twenty years after Mead's death, and twelve years after Mrs. 
Mead's death. The Board was divided as to whether to proceed with 
the building. Building costs had risen radically since the College had 
received the Mead funds; they had advanced substantially even since 
we had let the contract for the new dormitories. In addition, the Col- 
lege was faced with the necessity of making a general increase in the 
scale of faculty salaries and in the scale of pay of our buildings and 
grounds staff. It was urged by some of the Board, with great per- 
suasiveness, that the College now faced a new situation, that it would 
be the part of wisdom to conserve the Mead funds in liquid form to 
support the new faculty salary scale, and that, therefore, action on the 
proposal to erect the building ought to be indefinitely postponed. 
Some of the lawyers on the Board pointed out that Mead's deeds of 
gift left final discretion in the hands of the Board. 

After listening to the informal discussion by the Board at the presi- 
dent's house, on the evening before the spring meeting of the Board in 
1 948, I decided that I ought to depart from the policy which I adopted 
when I retired from the president's office. I had not attended the formal 
meetings of the Board and had not tried to influence trustee policy. 
On April 24, 1 948, I mailed to each member of the Board a memoran- 
dum on the subject expressing my own point of view. The opening 
sentence of my memorandum gave my reasons for addressing the Board: 
"I am presenting this memorandum to the Board," I began, "because 
there are, I think, only two men now living with whom Mr. Mead dis- 
cussed his proposal: James Kellum Smith, '15, the present architect 
of the College, who was then a young man on the staff of McKim, 
Mead & White, and myself; (and) because the records of the Board 
do not give the detailed facts of the long negotiations which led up to 
the gift." 

Three paragraphs of the report will outline my conception of the 
problem faced by the Board: 

"This is not a case where the passage of time has rendered Mr. Mead's 
expressed purposes either obsolete or inconsistent with the present aims 
of the College. The President has pointed out how much the proposed 
building would mean to the College under the new curriculum. In fact, 
the proposed building would be more serviceable to the College today 
than when it was planned by Mr. Mead over a score of years ago. 

"And the need of higher faculty salaries is not a new need of the College 
which has arisen since Mr. Mead's death. Far from it. At just the period 
when Mr. Mead was working out his generous purposes with Mr. Mor- 
row, the Board was concerned with the problem of faculty salaries. And 

the Board was then initiating its program for six new endowed pro- 
fessorships of $160,000 each; a program which resulted in six such endow- 
ments. Mr. Mead left that problem to Messrs. Plimpton, Morrow, and 
their associates on the Board. He knew what he wanted to give his alma 
mater; he had spent his whole life in the practice of one of the arts. 

"It is of course for the Board of Trustees of 1948 to decide how they will 
carry out the trust reposed in them by one of the College's most generous 
and devoted sons. In reaching this decision they will remember that 
Mr. Mead's trusts were made after full conference with responsible mem- 
bers of the Board of the 1920's (Plimpton, Morrow, and King) and were 
informally and enthusiastically approved by the Board. . . . 

"Under these conditions the Board of today must decide whether it is 
to depart from the informal commitments of the Board of the 1920's." 

At the next meeting of the Board, the trustees authorized the treasurer 
to proceed with the erection of the building. The razing of the Stearns 
Church was a necessary prehminary step. The Board had voted at the 
close of my administration to authorize the Buildings and Grounds 
Committee to raze the building at their discretion. President Cole, on 
studying the problem, suggested to the Board that the church spire 
be retained, as it contained the chime of bells given to the College 
after the Civil War in memory of the Amherst men who had given 
their lives in the war, and as some of the older alumni would like to 
see the spire preserved for reasons of sentiment. Our college architect 
took no position in the matter, suggesting that it was an administrative 
question rather than one of aesthetics. It was understood that if the 
spire were removed as originally planned, the chimes would be moved 
to the tower of Morgan Hall. I took no position on the question; my 
sole aim was to have the College carry out Mead's intentions as ex- 
pressed in his deeds of trust. The Board voted by a small majority to 
retain the spire. Now that the Mead Fine Arts Building has been 
completed, the question of the spire is still a matter on which members 
of the Board and of the alumni body disagree. 

The contracts for the razing of the Stearns Church, for the repairs 
to the spire, and for the Mead Building were let to Edmund J. Rappoli 
Co., Inc., and in November 1948 ground was broken for the Mead 
Building. Ten months later, at the opening of the College in September 
1949, the Department of Fine Arts moved in. The following spring the 
building was formally dedicated. 

The Rotherwas Room, one of the finest rooms of Tudor England, 
was incorporated in the building. This had been acquired by Her- 
bert L. Pratt, '95, in the early years of this century and built in his 


mansion at Glen Cove, Long Island. Toward the end of his life, he 
had asked me whether the College would like to receive the room as a 
gift from him in his will. I had agreed enthusiastically and told him 
that in such event we would incorporate it in the Mead Building when 
it was built. Pratt's will directed his executors to dismantle the room, 
crate it, and ship it to Amherst at the expense of the estate. In addition, 
the College had received the bulk of Pratt's distinguished collection of 
early English and American furniture, which had been in storage at 
the College, and was now displayed in the Mead Building. 

Another room in the building was designed to house the Nineveh 
tablets, which had been acquired by the College a century earlier 
through the efforts of Henry Lobdell, of the Class of 1 849, a missionary 
in the Near East. These tablets had originally been displayed in the 
east wing of the Octagon, which, as we saw earlier, was then known 
as the Nineveh Gallery. Later, they had been housed in the lobby of 
Morgan Hall. Now they were a permanent part of the collection on 
display in the Mead Fine Arts Building. 

The marble sculpture over the main entrance is the work of one of 
our most distinguished American sculptors, Sidney Waugh of New 
York City. Waugh was born in Amherst, and had been awarded the 
honorary degree of Master of Arts by the College in 1939. In his early 
life he had been a friend of the Meads. 

The cost of the Mead Fine Arts Building was $560,000; the cost of 
razing the church and restoring the spire was estimated to be about 
Si 5,000. 

There is but one more chapter in the development of the plant of the 
College for me to record. At the autumn meeting of the Board in 1950, 
the trustees approved in principle a program for remodeling Williston 
Hall and making certain changes in the interior arrangements of 
Walker Hall. In the development of the project some problems arose 
and on November 1 5 the president asked me, as his personal representa- 
tive, to make a study of the problems involved. I was familiar with the 
situation, as I had initiated studies of Williston Hall by the college 
architect just before the outbreak of World War II. 

On November 16, I presented a written report to the president out- 
lining a solution of the problems involved, which seemed to meet the 
needs of the members of the staff involved. My recommendations were 
approved, and the work has been done. Plans for the new Williston 
were drawn by J. K. Smith, the college architect; reconstruction was 
entrusted to Edmund J. Rappoli Co., Inc. The changes involved the 
removal of the tower on the north, the erection of new stairways on 
the east and west ends, the provision of two modern classrooms on the 

first and second floors, the provision of space for the Christian Asso- 
ciation, and a small chapel on the third floor, in addition to faculty 
offices and a seminar room. 

The changes in Walker Hall were made by our own staff, and pro- 
vided for moving to the first floor the offices of the secretary of the 
Alumni Council, the offices of the director of public relations, and 
the George Daniel Olds Memorial Library; the remodeling of the 
original Olds Library for the use of the treasurer; and the provision 
of an additional office on the third floor for Fraternity Business Man- 

The cost of the remodeling of Williston Hall amounted to some 
S8i,ooo and was largely covered by a grant of $72,000 received by the 
College not long since from the James Foundation of New York, Inc., 
for postwar rehabilitation of the campus. The James Foundation, it 
will be recalled, was the principal legatee under the will of Arthur 
Curtiss James, '89, and its subventions to the College have been most 

These changes give us a new and modern Williston Hall of improved 
architectural design. The new classrooms and ofBces are an immediate 
need of the College. And the changes in Walker make more useful 
the interior arrangements of this building and provide adequate space 
for the non-academic administrative officers of the College. 

Johnson Chapel, Appleton Hall, and Williston Hall are now re- 
modeled to meet the present needs of the College. It is to be hoped 
that funds will become available at no distant time to remodel North 
and South Colleges so that the row of our five ancient buildings may 
be preserved for the effective service of the College for another century. 

In 1949, the president arranged for a study to be made of the or- 
ganization and methods of the Buildings and Grounds Department 
of the College. The cost of the study was carried by a portion of a 
recent gift from Charles E. Merrill, '08, for current purposes. The 
firm of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, management counsel of Chicago, was 
retained for the purpose, and the work was undertaken under the 
personal direction of Edward J. Burnell, '33, a member of the firm. 
Their report was submitted under date of November i , 1 949, and was 
presented to the Board for consideration. 

The report opens with a brief survey of the department which is 
worth quoting in full. 

"During the thirty years that the department has been formally organ- 
ized, the College has undergone its greatest expansion in the development 
of its facilities, including both buildings and land. The excellent condi- 
tion of both the buildings and the grounds is evidence of the quality of 


the work done by the buildings and grounds department in the care and 
maintenance of these faciUties. 

"During this period of expansion the department grew from a three-man 
staff to a total of ninety-nine employees at present. Costs have increased 
to a point where they now represent a gross expenditure of about 23% 
of the college budget, and, after transfers of costs to other departments of 
the College according to policy, a net expenditure totaling 13% of the 
college budget." 

As a result of the recommendations of the report, various changes were 
made in the arrangements of the duties of the foremen and in the 
keeping of records. On July i, 1950, Henry B. Thacher retired as 
superintendent of Buildings and Grounds to become college engineer. 
He was succeeded in the post of superintendent by Robert H. Heidrich, 
a graduate of Newark College of Engineering, with a degree in electrical 
engineering, who for the past fifteen years had been plant engineer for 
Wallace & Tiernan Company of Belleville, New Jersey. 

Thacher had joined the staff of the College thirty years before. For 
thirty years we had worked together in the development of the de- 
partment. He had watched building after building added to the college 
plant, and in each case he had inspected the work of the contractor 
engaged for the operation. He had worked with our architect and with 
our landscape architect to carry into execution the plans developed by 
them. And he had been responsible for the maintenance of the entire 
plant, as well as for the care of some fifty faculty houses which had been 
bought from time to time and added to the College's investment. When 
trouble developed with the plumbing or the heating of any faculty 
house, Thacher was the man to whom the professor or his wife com- 
plained, and it was his responsibility to make the necessary repairs. 
But he was now thirty years older; he was approaching the retirement 
age for the administrative staff. He could look back on his work with 
proud satisfaction, for it had been well done. As college engineer, he 
was assigned the office in Walker Hall in which he had first begun his 
work for the College. Here his responsibility is to bring to completion 
the studies he had long ago initiated to map the underground service 
facilities of the campus, the water mains, electric lines, conduits, and 
drains — to locate them exactly from fixed bounds. Many, of course, 
had been installed during his term, but many others dated from an 
earlier day when careful records were not kept. 

Another change in organization had been made a few years earlier 
by the president and the treasurer. Gordon Bridges, who came to the 
College in 1941 as director of dining halls, and who made an outstand- 
ing success in his management of the facilities of Valentine Hall, was 

given in addition the post of director of personnel. In this capacity he 
is in general charge of all the non-academic staff of the College. 

With Thacher as college engineer, Heidrich as superintendent of 
Buildings and Grounds, Bridges as director of personnel, and Johnson 
as comptroller, the College now has a strong and well balanced team, 
working harmoniously under the general direction of the treasurer and 
the president. Professional advice is furnished by James Kellum Smith, 
college architect, and Arthur A. Shurcliff, college landscape architect, 
and by Lockwood, Greene & Co., engineers. The Buildings and 
Grounds Committee of the Board is under the able chairmanship of 
Carroll B. Low. Doubtless new problems will develop as the country 
mobilizes to meet the menacing international situation, but the college 
plant, which met the exigencies of World War II successfully, has now 
been further developed and its administration strengthened. We may 
be confident that it will serve the College well in the troubled years 
that lie ahead. 


Chapter XIV 

Margaret Pinckney King 

(Reprinted from Amherst Graduates' Quarterly, Vol. XXXVII, 
November, 1947, No. i.) 

Amherst College, as is generally known, began in 1 82 1 after unusual 
difficulties which, indeed, continued for many years before its roots 
had penetrated deeply enough to make certain that its long life was 
safely past its early hazards. 

Yet from the first, its founders and supporters had a profound con- 
viction of its noble destiny. So they built the first President's House 
on a large and dignified scale, not only for the president as a person, 
but for him as the head and representative of the college that was to be. 

The first President's House was on the site of the present Psi Upsilon 
House. Its cornerstone was laid by Noah Webster at the close of the 
inauguration of President Moore, on Sept. 1 8th, 1 82 1 , the day before 
the formal opening of the College. 

This house was the sight of the countryside when it was finished. It 
was a large mansion of brick with five chimneys, serving nine open 
fireplaces. Its spacious double parlors were suitable for entertaining. 
There were eight rooms, about seventeen feet square, with smaller 
rooms in the rear for domestics. There were wide halls, upstairs and 
down, the full length of the house, about thirty-four feet. The kitchen 
was enormous, evidently to provide for Commencement collations, and 
it had eight doors. In addition, there was the "elegant novelty" of a 
butler's pantry. The walls were constructed of double brick, making 
the house warmer in winter and cooler in summer, and the window 
seats were correspondingly deep. 

President Moore died in this house. His successor. President Hum- 
phrey, lived here until, in 1834, the present President's House was 
erected opposite the "College grounds" of the period, then consisting 
of four buildings. The first President's House was then sold to Professor 
Fowler, who lived there until he moved to Holyoke in 1870, when he 
sold it to Psi Upsilon. The fraternity occupied it until 191 2, when it 





North entrance to the President's House (1940) 

South porch of the President's House (1944) 

was torn down and replaced by the present fraternity house. The three 
magnificent buttonwood or sycamore trees in front of it, still standing 
today, not even bent by devastating hurricanes, were brought from 
Sunderland in 1821. Tradition has it that they were fifty years old 
when transplanted, and that the old farmers said they would never 
live. Beneath the center tree lies buried Professor Fowler's old dog, 
Prince, run over by the New London train. Surely few household pets 
have ever had so grand a headstone! 

But before we leave behind this first house, let us note that there 
was purposely no door between the library and the adjoining dining- 
room. None was permitted to be cut, for then "the charm of taking 
a lady on your arm into the long broad hall and so into the dining-room 
would be lost." 

The picture of this custom has a symbolic value to me. Outside 
the candlelighted house lay the small dark town; its unpaved, muddy 
streets and footpaths very far indeed from the established centres of 
light and learning; its present, difficult, its future, clouded. Yet the 
pride that is the result of vision, coupled with a sense of power to fulfill 
that vision, sustained them with its outward formality, and must have 
kept alive the feeling that Amherst knew the ways of the world and 
could hold its own there. A symbolical action again, mere social ritual 
from one angle, but with the deeper enriching meaning in which all 
ritual is rooted. 

This first house was, then, a real achievement, an outward and visible 
sign of the importance of the College. But it was to be superseded before 
very long. By 1833, there had been much sickness in President Hum- 
phrey's family in addition to his own ill health. The feeling was preva- 
lent that the low-lying, damp situation of the house was responsible, 
and that a higher, healthier location was, in the jargon of today, "a 
must." In the discussion of the change, one of the more ardent trustees 
is quoted in a Board meeting as saying, "Gentlemen, you must either 
build a new house for your President, or lay him and his family in 
yonder graveyard." The President agreeing, it was decided to build 
another house. 

The higher ground chosen, where it stands today, belonged to the 
Rev. David Parsons, minister of the Second Meeting House, then 
standing where the Octagon was later built, in 1847. The parsonage 
was where Morgan Library was later built, and was a large square 
three-story house with a gambrel roof, and a carriage-shed for five 
vehicles projecting from one side. It must have seemed rather crowded, 
after the ampler, if damper, location on "the Psi U corner." 

It was voted, therefore, in October, 1 833, that a sum not exceeding 

SSjOOO be appropriated to erect a suitable house and outbuildings for 
the President. The first house was sold to Professor Fowler for about 
$2,500. After the payment of outstanding debts the college treasury 
held about $4,000, and it was decided to proceed. The house was built 
not by contract but by day work, and the Board minutes record, one 
may suppose with some melancholy, that when the bills were all in, 
they amounted to about $9,000. Those succeeding generations who 
have profited by the spaciousness and dignity of the original design 
must always be grateful for the largeness of conception and courage of 
the Founding Fathers, of which this is only one example. 

The house today stands on the books of the College at about $1 00,000, 
and is insured for $50,000. Perhaps two-thirds of this represents money 
spent over the years in repairs and improvements, to be specified later. 

There were some objections to the site chosen for the new house. 
Professor Hitchcock, later to be the third president, expresses himself 
freely in his Reminiscences. "The new house is indeed large, commodious, 
and in good architectural proportions. But in my judgment its location 
is not near as good for a president's house as that of the old one. It 
is too near the college and overlooks it too much, and is too much 
overlooked by the college. For a President should not be obliged to see 
every small impropriety of students, because he must not notice them 
all; and this will be apt to awaken prejudices against him." I may say 
that to the Kings the situation seemed perfect, and "every small im- 
propriety" seen from that undoubted vantage point added zest to life. 

Into this home, then. President Humphrey moved, on its completion 
in 1835. He had ten children, and a wife, universally loved, but al- 
ready suffering from complete deafness in her fortieth year. 

The house was built on the same dimensions it has now, except that 
the section west from the present dining-room was of wood, one-story, 
with various utility rooms. The front door was on the east with a portico 
as at present; there was a south door, the equal of the main east one, 
as was usual; there was no porch; and in the east third story gable, no 
windows; on the windows were shutters; the five chimneys were much 
narrower, and there was no balustrade connecting them, as at present. 
In front of the house was the simplest type of fence. 

Of the interior, I have found no plans. There must have been 
sketches of some sort, though as far as we know, there was no architect, 
only the craftsmen of the time, perhaps helped by the books on archi- 
tecture to which they occasionally had access. Some minor irregulari- 
ties, impossible to an architect, are witness to this, such as the unequal 
space between the second story fireplaces and the windows on each 
side, of Uttle consequence except to an over-exacting decorator. But I 

have a floor plan sketched from memory by Alfred E. Stearns as it 
was about 1880, and no interior changes or additions had been made 
up to then, according to the minutes of the Trustees. 

The key to the front east door was eight inches long. When you had 
opened it, there was ahead of you a hall extending through to the 
pantry at the west end. Directly ahead, on the left, was the usual 
straight flight of stairs. At its foot, was a door opening into a drawing- 
room with sliding doors into the second room, and beyond that, a 
bedroom, which is now the dining-room. On the other side of the hall- 
way was a square room, now the library, not connecting with the next 
room which was the dining-room, and beyond that the kitchen — all 
in the area now occupied by the entrance hall, side hall, coat rooms, 
and staircase. 

On the second story, the stairs entered a long hall like the one down- 
stairs. On each side were three bedrooms, with large closets. At the 
western end of the hall were the stairs in the same position as at present, 
going to the third story, or attic, as it was called. At the extreme end 
were two bathrooms, one opening from the main hall, the other from 
the back hall, on which the sixth bedroom also opened. The attic, by 
about 1880, had two rooms at the west end, a big open space in the 
center with a water tank and an "airtight" stove, with a space at the 
east end which had been made into three rooms when windows were 
put in the east gable, probably between 1850 and 1875. The cellar 
was divided into storage rooms of various sizes, a laundry, and, by 
1875 or thereabouts, two furnaces. 

Remember that the house was lighted by lamps, heated by fire- 
places and stoves, approached by dirt roads and paths deep in mud 
in the long drawn-out New England spring. Remember also the ten 
children ! 

Here, then, President Humphrey spent the last ten years of his 
twenty-two years in the presidency. He was succeeded by President 
Hitchcock who had only seven children. There are no changes, on 
record, in the house during his occupancy from 1846 to 1854. But its 
immediate outlook was greatly changed in '52, '53, when the parsonage, 
which had degenerated into two tenements, and its picket fence were 
torn down, and Morgan Library erected on the site, not entirely in its 
present dimensions. The stacks were not added until later, where now 
are the art storage rooms and the Hitchcock Memorial Room. 

This is the place to insert part of a poignant letter from E. Hitch- 
cock, son of the president, and later known as "old Doc." 

It was a great strain on my father's purse to furnish the President's 

House. And he had to get nearly complete furniture for the two parlors, 

[291 ] 

his study, and two chambers for that big house. And another kind of a 
strain was that that house had not been painted or papered for ten years, 
and the College could not give him a dollar toward it. The consequence 
was that my mother, sister, and the hired girl had an immense deal of 
backbreaking scrubbing to do in trying to make that yellow white paint 
look passably. And my back and knees can ache now, when I think how 
I put down and took up those big parlor carpets. 

And the coldness of that house ! For tho we had 20 cords of wood, the 
halls were never warmed, there was no means of doing it, and the parlors 
had nothing but open fireplaces, which wouldn't both draw at the same 
time. So we practically never used the parlors in winter. In fact we used 
the back one for storage of food and various other things. 

I had a fire in my room with an airtight stove, and part of the time the 
girls had one in their rooms. And the sitting-room (dining it was too), 
the study, and mother's bedroom had to be supplied with wood, and the 
woodshed was down one story, so that bringing in the wood was no trifle. 
Pa, however, generally took care of his wood box, he doing it for physical 

The whole third story when we lived in this house was one great garret, 
with no light or ventilation save two windows in the west end, and there 
some of us slept Commencement week. And in the northeast corner there 
was a kind of board fence in which were a lot of Dr. Humphrey's eff"ects, 
and among others lots of old papers and pamphlets. 

Yet with all the paint-washing and lamp-filling of Mrs. Hitchcock's 
era she and "the Ladies of Amherst College" found time to mend 
and often to make clothes for the most needy students! 

In 1854, President Hitchcock retired to teach again, and moved to 
the present "Kingman House," so-called, on the corner of Hitchcock 
Road and South Pleasant St. It may be of interest to note here that 
the latter street was called "West St." on early maps, and later still, 
"Broadway," about seventy years ago. 

Something was done about that white paint. In August, 1854, the 
Prudential Committee voted "to cause the President's House to be 
put in repair — the outside to be painted and the front fence — the 
inside generally to be painted, the plastering mended and white- 
washed overhead — also to paper the three rooms below upon the 
south side and four chambers . . . and to put in a hot air furnace and 
a cooking range." 

There followed the term of President Stearns until he died in 1876. 
President Seelye, who succeeded him, preferred to remain in his own 
home, now the Phi Kappa Psi House. The President's House was 
rented to Mrs. Mary Stearns, widowed daughter-in-law of President 
Stearns, and mother of Alfred Stearns. It was used as a school for 

girls, of which Millicent Todd Bingham has written a dehghtful memoir. 

So for a period, the house does not appear in the Trustees' minutes 
except for an occasional note on small repairs. And the Trustees' 
minutes from 1867 to 1882 were destroyed in the Walker Hall fire, 
and so are incomplete. 

In i8gi, Merrill E. Gates was elected to succeed President Seelye, 
and the interior of the house underwent the first of the two major 
changes in its history, and the greatest. The kitchen and dining-room, 
on the north side of the house, and the rooms above them were torn 
out to make room for a door on the north, the present square hall and 
staircase, with the Palladian window on the landing, and a coat-room. 
The kitchen was relegated to the basement, under the reconstructed 
woodshed, with windows to the south and west. The room on the south- 
west corner became the dining-room. The one story woodshed was 
developed into a two story wing of brick, with a large chimney on the 
north side. 

The first story of the wing became a library, panelled in ash, a large 
fireplace on the north end, with triple windows on the west and double 
windows on the south. The second story was a bedroom with a fire- 
place, and windows to the west and south, with beautiful views of the 
Holyoke range and the distant Berkshires. During the King adminis- 
tration, it was the President's study and bedroom combined. 

These radical structural changes brought about others. The banisters 
on the stairway were copied from some by Bulfinch in the State House 
at Boston; Corinthian columns took their place as supports in the upper 
and lower hallways; elaborate mantels and cornices were put in three 
of the downstairs rooms, partly of carved wood, and in part of appli- 
qued composition. The sliding doors were eliminated between the two 
south rooms, and the dining-room was panelled. At this time, probably, 
the chimneys were widened, to be in better proportion to the house, a 
balustrade was built to connect them, and the rounded bay added to 
the south porch. At this time, the barn, which was only about thirty 
feet northwest of the rear of the house, may have been moved. 

A contemporary comment from the Amherst Student of June 1 1, 1892, 
adds vitality to these details: 

Some of the finest woodwork ever put together is just finished in the 
house of Pres. Gates of Amherst College. It was done by Joseph Hebert. 
Only two rooms were finished, yet there was $3,000 worth of work done. 
Panels of mahogany and oak were made all over the rooms, and the mag- 
nificence of the work was never equalled in any land. One flight of stairs 
in one room cost $525 and two mantels cost $300. All the work was done 
by Mr. Hebert and mostly prepared at his factory, where he has all the 


machinery for wood working of all kinds. Pres. Gates was greatly pleased 
with the work, and the New York architect wants Mr. Hebert to do some 
fancy work in fine New York houses. 

President Gates lived in the house from 1891 to 1899, when it was 
rented for three months to the Rev. Henry Preserved Smith, a member 
of the Faculty. Then President Harris took over. In 1 903, the grounds 
in the rear of the house were graded, and the colored church and the 
janitor's house were removed from the area now occupied by the Phi 
Delta Theta House. 

In 1 91 2, President Harris was succeeded by Alexander Meiklejohn 
whose administration lasted twelve years. In 191 2, extensive repairs 
were made. An additional bathroom and toilet were installed, the 
windows in the dining-room were extended to the floor and opened 
on a wrought-iron balcony, as at present, and a drive was made in 
the rear of Morgan to approach the north door. There was a side 
entrance on the north toward the rear, serving the side hall and the 

In 1923, President Meiklejohn resigned, to be succeeded by George 
Olds. At this time several major structural changes were made. It 
was felt that a basement kitchen was too inconvenient. Accordingly 
the panelled library occupying the whole of the west end was made 
into a kitchen with a storage pantry, and opening out of it, to the 
north was added a glassed-in maids' sitting room, with a large, heated 
entry below it. A new wiring system, new heating and new plumbing 
systems were installed. Bathrooms were added in the two east rooms 
on the second story, and the whole house was painted and papered 
and fitted with new draperies. The cost, estimated at $25,000, was 
approximately $40,000. 

In 1 927, President Olds retired and was succeeded by Arthur Stanley 
Pease. A one-car garage was added below the kitchen on the west. 
The blinds were removed; large panes of glass replaced the small ones; 
and the house was connected with the central heating plant. 

In 1932, President Pease returned to teaching at Harvard and was 
followed by Stanley King, who had been an active trustee for eleven 

Structurally there was no room for change, with a few minor ex- 
ceptions. A large closet in the third story was lined with cedar; some 
shelves and bells were rearranged; and the first floor coat-room was 
made into two smaller ones. One radical change, however, involved 
the outside more than the inside. After a first winter of experiment, 
the main entrance at the east, with its steep flight of steps to the side- 
walk, was given up in favor of the entrance on the north. The door 


there could be approached directly from the drive, and opened into 
the large hall, with direct access to the cloakrooms. At crowded parties 
this avoided undue congestion, and in daily living made for greater 
quiet and privacy in the library and front drawing-room. It also 
halved the distance in answering a front-door bell, a minor improve- 
ment not to be despised. 

This change seemed radical to those who had used the east entrance 
for years and years, but its value was soon apparent to all. The old 
steep steps to the sidewalk were eliminated and some of brick, with an 
easier rise, made at the northeast corner of the house. The turn-around 
drive on the north was widened; the centre planting arranged with a 
path across to the sitting space by Morgan; and a brick retaining wall 
was stretched from the house to the big elm to enlarge the area by the 
back door and the garage. 

At this time was begun the landscaping of the grounds as a whole. 
There had been an unimpeded connection between these grounds and 
those of Phi Delta Theta, and they were also entirely open to through 
traffic on a short cut from Northampton Road to Woodside Avenue, 
on which small litter and trash accumulated, with results less than 
pleasing. This area was set off and bounded with shrubbery, as was 
also the line along South Pleasant St. The art of landscaping is a con- 
tinuing preoccupation of this author, but it is beyond the confines 
of this article to describe the planting in detail. Suffice it to say that a 
full report of this planting, which amounted over the years to some 
1 700 trees and shrubs, was compiled at the end of the King adminis- 
tration and filed in the Hitchcock room. One never knows when such 
records may be of interest. 

1934 marked the hundredth anniversary of the house. The Kings 
celebrated it by restoring the small panes in all the windows, except 
the service area. Old glass was, of course, impossible to obtain, but 
the mullions were made to look as if they had been through some, 
at least, of the hundred years. 

The condition of the roof had become a matter of concern, for it 
was fifty years old and was showing its age. So a completely new roof 
was put on in the summer of 1 938. When the hurricane zoomed through 
Amherst that September, and the new roof held, though the porch 
furniture sailed through the air and was never seen again, one's 
imagination quailed at the mental picture of the worn out roof on the 
same wild journey into nowhere, leaving its grand old house open to 
elemental fury. 

In writing this article, the temptation has been constant to wander 
into paths of anecdote, reminiscence, and speculation about the life 


within these four walls in a hundred years and more. But the specifica- 
tions called only for the physical life of the house, and the other side 
must await a future historian. 

So ends this chronicle of the first one hundred and twelve years. 
For its inadequacies and very probable inaccuracies and omissions, 
apology is rendered here. Here, too, belongs my farewell tribute to 
this beautiful dwelling-place. We lived there for fourteen happy years. 
They were not tranquil. Our first few years were conditioned by the 
world-wide depression. In 1936, we had our share in the devastation 
of the great flood in the Valley. In 1 938, the hurricane swept away 
much familiar beauty forever, and complicated the task of planning 
for the future. In 1939, the darkness of World War II cast its fearful 
shadow across our sheltered ways. And in 1941, we were engulfed in 
the common problem of survival. But however troubled the time, 
however heavy the burden and the anxiety, I always entered its doors, 
and moved about its comfortable, noble space with a sense of reassur- 
ance, refreshment, and peace. Long may it stand, a memorial to the 
Founding Fathers, and an inspiration to those within its walls. 


Chapter XV 

We have followed the development of the buildings and grounds 
of the College from the purchase of the first parcel of land from Colonel 
Elijah Dickinson and the erection of South College, down through the 
one hundred and thirty years that have intervened to the present. We 
have seen that Amherst was one of the earliest colleges to develop a 
comprehensive plan for the location of its buildings, and that this plan 
was developed by an uncommonly versatile and active young member 
of its faculty, Jacob Abbott. And we have followed the work in this 
field done in later years at the College by Calvert Vaux and the 
Frederick Law Olmsteds (father and son), by McKim, Mead & White, 
and by Arthur A. ShurclifT, all of them masters in this field. 

We have followed the construction of each building. Johnson Chapel, 
built by the founders with some slight assistance from Captain Isaac 
Damon, Northampton architect and contractor, for which the College 
paid only $25 for professional advice, is the pride of the College today 
and is regarded by some critics as one of the best examples extant of 
the Greek revival period of our architecture. South College and North 
College, built by the founders without professional advice and criti- 
cised severely by President Hitchcock and others for more than a 
generation, we now regard with veneration as excellent examples of 
our early Colonial style. 

And we have followed the work of a series of architects, some se- 
lected by the College and some by the donors, whose work stands today 
as an expression of the aesthetic climate of the period : Henry A. Sykes 
of Springfield who designed the Octagon, Morgan Hall, and Appleton; 
Charles E. Parkes of Boston who designed Williston, East College, and 
Barrett; George Hathorne of New York, architect of Walker Hall; 
William Appleton Potter of New York, architect of Stearns Church; 
Peabody & Stearns of Boston who made the plans for rebuilding 
Walker after the fire; Francis R. Allen, '65, of Boston who designed 
the addition to Morgan Hall; E. L. Roberts of New York who was 
chosen by the donor to design Pratt Gymnasium; W. B. Tubby of 


New York, selected by another donor as architect for Pratt Health 
Cottage; Charles A. Rich, chosen by the donors to design Morris 
Pratt Memorial Dormitory; Boring & Tilton of New York, the donor's 
choice to design the Pratt Natatorium; and McKim, Mead & White, 
one of the great architectural firms of our entire history, who have 
designed most of the buildings on the campus during the past sixty-odd 
years. One by one, they have passed on to their reward and been suc- 
ceeded by the present generation, but their work remains to testify 
today to their conceptions of architectural style and their choice in the 
use of materials. The climate of opinion changes from generation to 
generation. We would not today describe Walker and Williston in the 
flowery terms used by our predecessors, but the buildings were honestly 
built and have served the College well for decade after decade. 

Four of our architects have been graduates of the College: Francis R. 
Allen, '65, Wilham R. Mead, '67, James Kellum Smith, '15, and 
Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21, who designed three house libraries. 

The most striking fact which occurs to me, as we view the develop- 
ment of the college plant over the period of one hundred and thirty 
years, is the rise in the standard of living of our students as reflected in 
the plant, and the rise in the cost of providing an adequate plant for 
the work of the College from generation to generation. These are in a 
sense two facets of the same problem. Let us look first at our facilities 
for housing our students. The standards at Amherst in 1830 were not 
materially different from the standards which obtained at that time 
in our sister colleges in New England. Our standards today are on 
substantially the same level as those of our sister colleges. Our practice 
then and now does not constitute an isolated phenomenon in the social 
context in which the College is placed; it is typical of the social back- 
ground of the time. And this fact, of course, constitutes its significance. 

Our early dormitories contained no plumbing, no lighting facilities, 
and no heating arrangements other than open fireplaces. This was 
consistent with the standards of the time. But it reduced materially the 
costs of building. North and South Colleges were well built. They were 
as fireproof as it was possible to make them at the time. Until builders 
discovered the possibilities of concrete and steel in this century, brick 
buildings with wood floors and wood stairways were the accepted 
standard for fire protection. And the partition walls in North and 
South are heavy brick walls extending from basement floor to roof. 
Many of my contemporaries who attended Harvard College when I 
was an undergraduate at Amherst lived in relatively new Harvard 
dormitories in which the rooms were heated by individual coal fires 
in grates in individual rooms. And when I attended the Harvard Law 

School, I roomed in a third floor room in a private house in Cambridge, 
which had no heat whatever, not even a fireplace; and my landlady 
kept the door to the stairway leading to the third floor closed at all 
times so that no heat could by any possibility rise to my room and thus 
add to the expense of heating the first two floors. I was unable to keep 
water in a pitcher in the room, for it would freeze and break the 
pitcher, which would then be charged to me. True, it was a rugged 
mode of life in a New England winter, but I suffered no ill effects 
whatever, and I did not regard my lot as a hard one. 

North and South Colleges each cost about Si 0,000 to build. This 
meant a cost of five cents per cubic foot. Each could accommodate 
sixty- four students. This means a cost of about Si 56 to house each 
student. Morrow Dormitory, built in 1925-26, cost about sixty-six 
cents per cubic foot, exclusive of furnishing and cafeteria equipment. 
The cost per student housed was in the neighborhood of S3, 800 per 
student. The cost per cubic foot had increased more than thirteen fold, 
the cost per student more than twenty-four fold. Today the cost of 
building is about two-and-a-half times what it was when Morrow 
Dormitory was built. 

Thus far we have considered the increased cost of plant facilities 
caused by the rise in the standard of living and the rise in building costs. 
Another factor, of great importance in the increase of the plant account 
of Amherst and of her sister colleges, is the changing academic policy 
in subjects taught and in mode of teaching. Let us look for a moment 
at the physical sciences as an example. 

In the early days of the College, Amherst offered work in both 
physics and chemistry, although physics then went under the name of 
natural philosophy. Both subjects were taught in the basement of 
Johnson Chapel; most of the necessary equipment was made by the 
professors who taught the subjects. Today the department of physics 
occupies most of the Fayerweather Laboratory and the department of 
chemistry occupies all of the Moore Laboratory. The Fayerweather 
Laboratory, built in 1892, contains about 666,000 cubic feet; the 
Moore Laboratory, built in 1928, contains about 625,000 cubic feet, 
or about 7% less. But the Moore Laboratory cost $475,000 as against a 
cost of Si 00,000 for Fayerweather. On January 24, 1951, the president 
of Yale University announced that Yale would now build a new 
physics laboratory. Its size would be about three times as large as 
Fayerweather or Moore; its cost was estimated at $5,000,000. 

We may put these facts graphically by saying that in 1 830 Amherst 
invested $3,000 in plant for the teaching of both physics and chemistry. 
Sixty years later, due to increased content in these subjects and in- 


creased student enrollment in the physical sciences, Amherst invested 
Si 00,000 in plant for the purpose. Thirty-six years later, Amherst added 
an investment of $475,000 for chemistry alone. And in the meantime 
it had added to its equipment for the department of physics. Its plant 
investment for the two subjects now amounted to over S6oo,ooo and 
it had, in addition, an endowment fund of $250,000 for the main- 
tenance of the Moore Laboratory of Chemistry. This made a total of 
about $850,000. In 1951, Yale proposes, for the department of physics 
alone, an investment of $5,000,000 for a building three times the size 
of our physics laboratory, but costing nearly fifty times as much. 

Let us take another example — the teaching of fine arts. For its 
first half century Amherst offered no work in this field, and Amherst 
in this respect was no different from its sister colleges in New England. 
In 1874 Harvard College appointed Charles Eliot Norton, who had 
been an instructor in French and a university lecturer for a brief period, 
lecturer on the history of the fine arts as connected with literature. The 
following year Norton was made professor of the history of art, a post 
which he held with great distinction for twenty-three years. Amherst 
followed the example of Harvard in a modest way. In 1879 Richard H. 
Mather, '57, was appointed professor of Greek and lecturer on sculpture, 
a post which he held until his death in 1890. Mather secured funds 
with which to buy a large collection of casts which for years was ex- 
hibited on the third floor of Williston, and with this equipment and a 
contagious enthusiasm for his subject, he offered the lectures in the 
field of the arts which were remembered by his students. 

In 1927, nearly thirty years after the retirement of Charles Eliot 
Norton, Harvard built the William Hayes Fogg Art Museum at a cost 
for construction of $1,240,000, to which later expansion added another 
$75,000. The following year occurred the death of William R. Mead, 
whose fortune was to come to Amherst for the development of work 
in the fine arts after the death of his wife. In 1 930 Charles Hill Mor- 
gan, II, was appointed assistant professor of fine arts. In 1950 the 
Mead Art Building was dedicated. Its cost had been $560,000. 

An even more striking example is found in the field of physical educa- 
tion. We have seen that in the 1830's the students themselves built 
certain outdoor apparatus in the college grove east of Johnson Chapel 
for physical exercise. Today Amherst has the Alumni Gymnasium, the 
Cage, the Davenport Squash Building, the Harold I. Pratt Pool, Pratt 
Field and the two field houses, Hitchcock Field, and Memorial Field. 
The buildings devoted exclusively to physical education contain nearly 
3,000,000 cubic feet, or one-quarter of the entire cubic contents of 
all buildings devoted to education. In addition, the College has the 

Infirmary, containing 220,000 cubic feet, which is devoted exclusively 
to the physical well being of our students. Our entire physical education 
plant and infirmary stand on our books today at $1,264,500. 

If we examine the catalogue of the College in its early days, we 
find the curriculum is based on Latin, Greek, and mathematics, to- 
gether with courses in some of the sciences, in philosophy and religion. 
But the following subjects which are taught today and are studied by 
increasing numbers of students do not appear: history, economics, 
political science, psychology, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Eng- 
lish, dramatics, music, fine arts, education. To teach courses in these 
fields today requires not only teachers but classrooms, seminar rooms, 
and thousands of feet of shelving in the library stacks. A detailed ex- 
amination of our figures leads to the conclusion that the most important 
cause of the astronomical increase in plant requirements for the college 
of today compared with the college of 1830 is to be found in our 
academic policy, in the subjects taught and the content of the courses, 
and the space and equipment necessary for the proper presentation of 
the subjects to our students. 

In the Report of the Finance Committee of the Board dated Octo- 
ber 27, 1875, written by Alexander H. Bullock, after a detailed study 
of the operations of the College, Governor Bullock comments on the 
striking increases in the cost of operating the College during the previ- 
ous generation. His remarks are directed to the operating costs, but 
they apply with equal force to the costs of the plant requisite for the 
work of the College. Governor Bullock says, "This greatly dispropor- 
tionate increase in the cost of instruction is a natural development, a 
fruit of the broader, more exact, more varied, more profound and more 
stimulating methods and degrees of education in this later day. But 
it must be paid for. It should be classed among the innumerable other 
instrumentalities of modern progress, more extended and more ener- 
getic, and therefore more expensive, than those which answered for 
the standard of a past period." And the increased costs which engaged 
the attention of the Amherst Finance Committee in 1875 have con- 
tinued their rise, sometimes slowly, sometimes with terrifying speed, 
until the present. 

What questions would be asked today by a returning alumnus who 
had graduated, let us say, in the centennial year of 1 92 1 , and who had 
not been on the campus since his graduation? Let us follow him as 
he walks from North College, where he roomed as an undergraduate, 
to Johnson Chapel, Walker, Williston, Pratt Gymnasium, and Con- 
verse Library. The Chapel has been entirely remodeled and a new 
portico added to the east, North and South have house libraries, Ap- 

[301 ] 

pleton and Pratt Gymnasium have been entirely remodeled, Walker 
and Williston have been remodeled, Converse Library has received a 
large addition, the Church has gone, Barrett looks unchanged. But as 
he extends his walk to the north, to the east, and to the south, he sees 
one new building after another, all built since his time : a new plant for 
physical education, a theater, a faculty club, new dormitories, a fine 
arts building, new laboratories, dining halls, heating plant, infirmary, 
playing fields, new driveways, a new college grove, and a war memorial. 
After such a walk, our alumnus might well ask himself three questions: 
Is the College overbuilt? Are all these new facilities useful in the daily 
life of the College? Is the plant finished? 

These are important questions, and our alumnus deserves a thought- 
ful answer. Perhaps he calls on the treasurer, who graduated a few 
years ahead of him, and then on the dean, whom he remembers as an 
upperclassman. The treasurer tells him that the plant account of the 
College stood on his books at about $1,900,000 in 1921, and now stands 
at over $6,860,000, an increase of nearly $5,000,000. "But," adds the 
treasurer, "let us look at the figures for our sister colleges. In the same 
period the plant account of Wesleyan has risen more than $4,500,000 
and is now nearly as large as ours. The plant account of Williams is 
now about $6,300,000, and Williams is still building." The treasurer 
goes on to point out that if you divide the total plant account by the 
number of undergraduates, you get the plant account per student. At 
Wesleyan this figure is about $6,325 and at Williams about $5,536. 
Amherst's figure is about halfway between, at $6,023. 

The tables in the treasurer's office show some other facts that are 
interesting. The big building program of Amherst was carried through 
in the years from 1 934 to 1 939, when the index of building costs varied 
from 160 to 200 (191 5 being taken as a base at 100). The index in the 
period from 1923 to 1929 was close to 200 throughout the period. The 
index since 1946 has risen from about 275 to over 510. Amherst bought 
its buildings in the new program of development at almost the lowest 
prices which have obtained since the beginning of World War I. Col- 
leges which undertake substantial building programs now, as many 
have had to do, will pay about three times as much for the same quality 
as Amherst has paid. 

It is clear to our alumnus that the Amherst plant development was 
uncommonly well bought. With the economic forces at play in the 
world today, he sees no likelihood that building costs will ever return 
to the level of the 1 930's. He sees too that our total plant account is 
in line with those of our sister colleges of Wesleyan and Williams. But 
he walks across to the Chapel to see his old friend, the dean of the Col- 

lege. He remembers the dean as a junior when he was a freshman. And 
he is astonished to realize that Porter is now completing his twentieth 
year in the dean's office, the longest term of any dean in the history 
of the College. Georgie Olds was his dean, but Porter has already 
served nearly twice as long in this office as Olds. 

The dean tells him that we have only just enough classrooms and 
seminar rooms to accommodate the classes that he has to schedule, that 
the classrooms in the new Mead Fine Arts Building are used for classes 
of other departments as much as or more than for classes in fine arts, 
that the remodeling of Walker and Williston gives some relief, that 
we have no more faculty offices than necessary to take care of our 
needs, that our plant in physical education is in full use, and during 
World War II was so crowded that the demands of the army and the 
navy for its use for their trainees at the College had to be arbitrated 
by the president. 

When our alumnus puts to the treasurer and the dean his final ques- 
tion, as to whether the plant is finished, he receives the same answer. 
A college plant is never finished. This, at least, is the lesson of history 
— the history of Amherst and Williams and Wesleyan and Bowdoin, 
the history of Harvard and Yale. The students who graduated from 
Amherst in 1921, the faculty of the College of 1921, could not have 
anticipated the developments that would take place in the next thirty 
years. And we today cannot guess what the College will be like in 
1980. But during the past thirty years, while the Amherst plant grew 
from about $1,900,000 to about $6,800,000, the endowment of the 
College more than kept pace. In 1 920, the securities held in the endow- 
ment of the College were appraised by J. P. Morgan & Co. at market 
at $3,706,636; thirty years later (June 30, 1950) our endowment funds 
had a book value of some $14,776,715 and a market value of well over 
$16,000,000. While the plant had grown some 260%, the endowment 
had increased more than four fold. 

And the treasurer added that the College must within a reasonable 
time replace the conduits which carry steam to its buildings from the 
central heating plant by modern tunnels, and must undertake radical 
renovation in our two oldest dormitories. North and South, to bring 
them up to the standards of our later dormitories. More classrooms 
must be remodeled to bring them to present-day standards in lighting, 
and in ventilation; and some solution must be developed for the con- 
stantly expanding needs of the library for stack space. A college's 
collection of books never ceases to grow, even though the undergraduate 
enrollment is held at some maximum established by the Board. 

And our alumnus realizes that a college plant is never static; it 


must respond to the changing needs of the College and these must 
respond to the changing demands of society upon the College. 

As the Amherst plant has grown, and as inflation has raised the costs 
of operation and maintenance, as, in fact, almost everything that the 
College buys has risen in cost, the annual expense of "Operation & 
Maintenance of Plant" in the college budget has risen. In the earliest 
days of the College, the plant was cared for by one part-time janitor, 
whose annual compensation was S300. The College needed no plumb- 
ers because there was no plumbing to care for and repair; it needed 
no electricians. It bought no coal, only enough cordwood to serve the 
stoves in the recitation rooms, which were tended by students who 
received scholarship aid. Students cared for their own rooms — or did 
not, as the case might be. The College needed no groundsmen to care 
for the campus. It was cleaned up once a year by the students on 
"chip day." And no teacher could incur any expense for account of 
the College for equipment or supplies without a vote of the faculty 
and the approval of the Prudential Committee of the Board. 

The treasurer's report for June 30, 1 950, records the fact that Opera- 
tion & Maintenance of Plant for the academic year 1949-50 cost 
$328,932. This compares with $653,992 for Instruction, and $108,791 
for Scholarship & Student Aid. There seems to be no likelihood that 
costs of operation and maintenance will decrease; in fact, an increase 
in this item may be looked for over the next decade. 

Where did the funds come from which have made possible the present 
campus and buildings of the College? In the preceding chapters we 
have noted the answer to this question in some detail. The larger part 
of our endowment came to us in bequests under wills of generous 
alumni and friends of the College. This does not seem to be true in 
the case of our buildings. It will be worth while to examine this 
question in some detail. 

Johnson Chapel we owe to the bequest of Adam Johnson. The funds 
for Appleton came from the trustees under the will of Samuel Appleton. 
The addition to Morgan we owe to the unrestricted bequest of Henry T. 
Morgan. The Fayerweather Laboratory of Physics came from the un- 
restricted bequest of Daniel Fayerweather. The Davenport Squash 
Building we owe to the bequest of John Davenport, whose will pro- 
vided that the funds be used for a memorial building. The Infirmary 
was built with unrestricted funds from the bequest of Arthur N. Milli- 
ken. The Kir by Theater we owe to a gift by the executors of the estate 
of Dr. Kirby. Valentine Hall came from a bequest under the will of 
Mrs. Valentine, providing that a part of the fund should be used for a 
memorial. And the Mead Art Building was paid for entirely from 

funds from the estates of Mr. and Mrs. Mead, in accordance with the 
express request of Mr. Mead. The list adds up to eight buildings and 
the addition to Morgan. The funds from these estates used for building 
come to a total of about 31,265,000. 

The list of buildings erected with funds given by living donors is 
much longer. It includes the Alumni Gymnasium, Barrett, Biology, 
the Cage, Converse Library, the Garage, the Heating Plant, Memorial 
Field, Morrow Dormitory, Moore Laboratory, Morgan, the Observa- 
tory, Pratt Field, Pratt Pool, Pratt Dormitory, Pratt Health Cottage, 
the Red Schoolhouse, South College, Stearns Church, Walker, and 
Williston. This list includes some twenty-one items. 

There is, of course, a third category — buildings built from the gen- 
eral funds of the College. In this group we may well include North 
College, the President's House, College Hall, and James and Stearns 

"Amherst College," Calvin Coolidge remarked a few weeks before 
his death, "is a good college." Today Amherst has a good faculty, a 
good student body, a good plant, and it is led by good administrative 
officers, responsible to an able and devoted Board of Trustees. But 
perhaps equally important as an asset of the College for the future is 
the alumni body. No college is richer than Amherst in the loyalty 
and devotion of its graduates. 



In the preparation of this study I have examined all of the relevant material 
in the possession of the College that I have been able to find. Much of it is in 
the archives in the Hitchcock Memorial Room in Morgan Hall. The figures 
of cost of our building operations have been taken from the records of the 
treasurer's office or the records of the superintendent of Buildings and Grounds 
or from trustee records. The figures for Bowdoin, Wesleyan, and Williams have 
been taken either from ofl[icial publications of those colleges or have been sup- 
plied me by their presidents. The Harvard figures are taken from an official 
publication of the University (1949) entitled: Education, Bricks and Mortar — 
Harvard Buildings and their Contribution to the Advancement oj Learning. 

The quotations from President Hitchcock are in most cases taken from his 
published Reminiscences, in a few cases from letters preserved in our archives. 
The quotations from President Stearns are taken from his published addresses 
or from his letters. The quotations from Dr. Edward Hitchcock, Jr., are from 
his unpublished manuscript notebooks. The statement as to the vote of George 
A. Plimpton on the election of President Gates is made on the authority of a 
statement from Plimpton to me; his negative vote was not recorded in the 
minutes of the meeting. 

For earlier figures on the costs of Amherst building, I have relied on the 
published accounts by Tyler and Hitchcock, on longhand memoranda of 
Hitchcock, and on the account books of John Leland, the first treasurer of the 

The figures of cubic capacity of our buildings have been taken from a table 
prepared in the office of the superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. The 
map of the college holdings of land in Amherst was prepared by Henry B. 
Thacher in collaboration with Herbert G. Johnson, comptroller, and revised 
to 1 95 1. Mr. Thacher was then chief engineer of the College. 

Chapter XIV, on the president's house, was written by my wife, Margaret 
Pinckney King, and published in the Amherst Graduates^ Quarterly of November, 
1947. It is reprinted with her permission and the permission of the Quarterly. 
The investigations on which the article is based were made by her. 

The information regarding the building operations of Alpha Delta Phi I 
obtained from Tilford W. Miller, '14, of Wilton, Connecticut, treasurer of the 
Corporation; that regarding the building operations of Psi Upsilon from 
Oliver B. Merrill, Jr., '25, of New York City, treasurer of the Corporation, 
and from William S. Tyler, '95, of Plainfield, New Jersey, and Ernest M. 
Whitcomb, '04, of Amherst, both former treasurers of the Corporation. The 
information as to Delta Kappa Epsilon is taken from their books of account 

of the period now on deposit in the Hitchcock Memorial Room. The figures 
as to other chapters have been suppUed me by the office of Fraternity Business 
Management. I have also examined Baird's Manual of Fraternities. 

The source material listed belovs^ is to be found in the Hitchcock Memorial 
Room or in the vaults of the College unless otherwise noted. 

The best sources of background material are the following: 

Amherst College Biographical Record, 1821-1939 

Amherst College Biographical Record, edition of 1951 

Amherst College Catalogues 

Historical Collections, by John W. Barber, 1 848 

History of Amherst, Carpenter & Morehouse, 1 896 

Amherst: The Story of a New England College, by Claude M. Fuess, 1935 

History of Hadley, by Sylvester Judd, 1 863 

Reminiscences of Amherst College, by Edward Hitchcock, 1 863 

History of Williston Seminary, by Joseph Henry Sawyer, 1 9 1 7 

Piety and Intellect at Amherst College, by Thomas LeDuc, 1946 

History of Amherst College, by WiUiam S. Tyler, 1873 

History of Amherst College, by William S. Tyler, 1895 

This Was a Poet, by George F. Whicher, 1 938 

Mornings at 8:§o, by George F. Whicher, 1 950 

Around a Village Green, by Mary Adele Allen, 1939 

Other important source material on which I have relied is the following: 

Original Books of Account 

Minutes of Trustees 

Minutes of Prudential Committee 

Minutes of Executive Committee 

Minutes of Faculty 

Reports of Buildings and Grounds Committee 

Reports of Presidents 

Reports of Treasurers 

Reports of Finance Committee, 1875 and 1924 

Gift Book 

Notebooks of Edward Hitchcock, Jr. 

Origin of Amherst College in Massachusetts, by Noah Webster 

Sketches of the Early History of Amherst College, by Heman Humphrey 

Records of Fraternity Business Management 

Papers of John Leland 

Papers of J. Vaill 

A Book of Records containing an account of the doings of the Board of Overseers 

to the Charity Fund upon which is founded the Collegiate Institution in Amherst, 

from August 28, 1822 
Address at Opening of Walker Hall by William A. Stearns, 1871 
Student Life at Amherst College, by George R. Cutting, 1871 
Annals of Amherst College — The Soil, the Seed, and the Sowers, i860 


Jacob Abbott's Toung Christian, memorial edition, 1882 

Mary E. Stearns, by Millicent Todd, 1909 

Education, Bricks and Mortar, Harvard University, 1 949 

C. B. Adams — Western Altantic Marine Shells, Clench and Turner, 1 950 

A Description oj Brunswick, Me., in Letters by a Gentleman from South Carolina 
to a Friend, 1823, second edition 

^'Our First Men": A Calendar of Wealth, Fashion and Gentility, 1846 

Amherst Collegiate Magazine 

Amherst Student 

Visitor's Guide, by Charles H. Hitchcock, 1862 

Springfield Weekly Republican, February 2, 1883; article on Henry T. Morgan 

Boston Telegraph, February 19, 1824; letter by Jacob Abbott 

Popular Description of the New Cabinet and Astronomical Observatory of Amherst 
College for the Use of Visitors, 1848 

The Use at American Colleges of the Word Campus, Colonial Society of Massa- 
chusetts Publications, vol. 3, 1900 

The Nation, LXVI, 1898 

Amherst Graduates' Quarterly 

Article in New York Herald Tribune, ]2inmsy 7, 1 951, on McKim, Mead & 
White by Wayne Andrews 

Article in Architectural Record, vol. 26, by Montgomery Schuyler on 
William Appleton Potter 

Amherst — Alpha Delta Phi 1837-1887, 1887 

Correspondence of Presidents Hitchcock, Seelye, Gates, Harris, King, 
Trustees Plimpton, Arthur Curtiss James, Whitcomb, D. Willis James, 
Charles Pratt, Charles M. Pratt, George D. Pratt, and Treasurer 

Files of Treasurer's Office 

Files of Department of Buildings and Grounds 



The following is a list as left in the manuscript. Obviously it is only a partial 
one. But all those who cooperated in any way must know how much their 
interest and assistance were appreciated. The explanatory notations in paren- 
theses are mine. 

Margaret P. King 
Paul D. Weathers, ' 1 5 
Otto Manthey-Zorn 
Henry B. Thacher 
Herbert G. Johnson, '16 
Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04 

Oliver B. Merrill, '25 
William S. Tyler, '95 
Tilford W. Miller, '14 
James Kellum Smith, '15 
Lawrence G. White 
Jones Library, Amherst 
Wayne Andrews, Curator 
of Manuscripts, New 
York Historical Society 
Morton C. Tuttle, Boston 
Dow Service, Inc., N.Y. 

Rena M. Durkan, Curator 
of Hitchcock Memorial 

I (for listening many evenings to "work in 
/ progress") 

(for preparation of maps) 

(for facts and figures) 

(for facts relative to his father's connection with 
the College) 

> (for data on Psi Upsilon House) 

(for data on Alpha Delta Phi House) 
1 (for data on buildings designed by McKim, 
J Mead & White) 

(for access to material relating to town matters) 

(for access to relevant material) 

(for consultation on building costs) 

(building costs analysts) 

(for searching the archives for relevant ma- 
terial, making up the tables and index, and 
helping at every stage in the preparation of 
the book for the press) 

In addition, I am indebted to the Board of Trustees for undertaking the 
publication of the book; to President Cole and Trustee Weathers for their help 
in arrangements with the publishers; to Horace Hewlett for preparing the 
photographs selected; and to the Plimpton Press for their whole-hearted 

Margaret Pinckney King 




1820-21 South 




Method of 

Architect Contractor 




Labor, money, and 
material contrib- 
uted by people of 
Connecticut Valley 

None None 

1821-22 President's $4,000 Labor, money, and 

House material contrib- 

(first) uted locally 


Warren S. How- 
land, Amherst 

1822-23 North 

$10,000 Money borrowed 

from Charity Fund 
and $':io,ooo Fund 


Hiram Johnson, 

1826-27 Johnson 

$15,000 Bequest of Adam 
Johnson of Pelham 
$4,000; remainder 

Isaac Damon, 
Northampton, prob- 
ably consulted to 
some extent 

Hiram Johnson, 

1933 Johnson 


1827-28 "Old" 

$108,000 Dwight W. Morrow James Kellum Smith, Casper Ranger 

Trust Fund and gift '15, of McICim, Mead Construction Co., 

of Mrs. Edwin Duf- & White Holyoke 

$ 1 0,000 Money borrowed 


George Guild, 







Proceeds of sale of 
first house ($2,500); 
remainder bor- 

Warren S. How- 
land, Amherst 





Fund raised by Jo- 

Henry A. Sykes, 

Henry A. Sykes, 


siah B. Woods of 



Cabinet and 

En field from 43 


donors who gave 


58,437 (including 


bequest of $920 
from Samuel Stone 
of Townsend) 




Building Committee 

Enos Baker 

Rufus Cowles 

Samuel Fowler Dickinson 

Nathaniel Smith 

Hezekiah Wright Strong 

John Leland 
Nathaniel Smith 

Standing Committee (see 
Appendix 6) and special 
committee of Robert W. 
Maynard, Lucius R. 
Eastman, and George D. 


Cornerstone laid August 9, 1820. Dedication at inauguration of Presi- 
dent Moore on September 18, 1821. Served as dormitory, library, labo- 
ratory, and recitation building until other buildings were erected. 
Exterior today substantially as erected. For interior renovations see en- 
tries under North College. In 1933 a house library was installed as a gift 
of James Turner, '80, in memory of his class; architect, Frederick J. 
Woodbridge, '21. 

Cornerstone laid the day South College was dedicated. This house, on 
approximate site of present Psi Upsilon House, was sold to Professor 
William Fowler for $2,500. 

Built mainly as a dormitory, the fourth floor, south entry, was used for 
academic purposes : What are now the two corner rooms, with the hall, 
then formed one large room which served as chapel, lecture room, and 
laboratory; the two adjoining rooms were the library and the cabinet 
for physical and chemical apparatus. Exterior substantially the same to- 
day as when erected. Interior changes and renovations have taken place 
over the years in both North and South: in 1892-93 at an expense of 
$45,000, and in 1915 and 1920 at an expense of $12,000. A house 
library was installed in North in 1933 as the gift of Stanley King, '03, 
and Richard King, '35, in memory of Henry A. King, '73; architect, 
Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21. 

Dedication February 28, 1827. Built to house chapel, laboratory, mu- 
seum, library, and recitation rooms. In 1863 the building was renovated 
at an expense equal to its original cost and in the early 1920's an appro- 
priation from the Centennial Gift made possible a program of repairs 
and improvement. The 1933 renovation involved a forty-foot extension 
to the east, new eastern facade, interior changes, and new organ. The 
Aeolian Skinner organ (replacing organ given by the Class of '83 in 
1908) was the gift of Mrs. DufTey, widow of Edwin DufTey, '90. 
Dedication May 23, 1934. 

John Leland 

"Old" North dormitory was on present site of Williston Hall. Building 
destroyed by fire January 19, 1857. 

President Humphrey 
John Leland 
Luke Sweetser 

President Hitchcock 
David Mack 
Andrew Wood Porter 
Samuel Williston 
Josiah B. Woods 

Repairs and renovations from time to time over the years, among 
the most important of which were: $11,000 in 1892, met by gifts; 
$18,000 in 1912 (met partly by gifts of $7,500); and $43,000 in 
1924, charged to the Centennial Fund. For details see Chapter XIV. 

Woodwork was done by Robert Cutler of Amherst, stucco by George 
Gill, New Haven, and iron posts and doors by James Ames, Cabotsville, 
Dedication, June 28, 1848. Originally built to house the work of the 
Departments of Astronomy and Geology, as well as the collections of 
the College, the Octagon became the headquarters of the Department 
of Music when the Observatory and the Biology-Geology Building 
were erected. 







1852-53 (Morgan) 



AppTox. Method of 

Cost Financing 

$1,000 Gift of Luke Sweet- 

$567 Gift of Enos Dickin- 



(land and 


Gifts obtained by 
Professors William 
S. Tyler and George 
B. Jewett from 296 
donors amounting 
to nearly $21,000. 
Surplus over build- 
ing cost used for 

Gifts from eight 
donors; remainder 
taken from bequest 
of Henry T. Morgan 
of New York, for 
whom building was 
then named 

Henry A. Sykes, 

Henry A. Sykes, 

Francis R. Allen, '65, 
of Allen and Ken- 
way, Boston 

-— A i^ton ^;^o Funds from estate of Henry A. Sykes, George P. Shoals, 

^^ Cabinet Samuel Appleton Springfield Easthampton 

iQo. AMeton $105,000 Funds from Centen- McKim, Mead & Casper Ranger 

^^ Cab nit nialGift White, New York Construction Co., 

^^"^"^^ . Holyoke 

.357-53 Ea.CoUe.e ,.3.000 feo- ._o. _;nsur. ^Ka,W E. Par.e. O^^^^^K 

North; $5,000 from 
new subscriptions; 
$5,000 borrowed 

.33,-38 W»U.o„ ,.6,000 2f.orSan.ue,WU- E. Pa*., '^^^^^^^^^ 


Building Committee 


In 1934-35 the large room on the second floor was remodeled as the 
Frank L. Babbott Room in memory of Frank L. Babbott, '78. Cost of 
room and furnishings, $15,000, borne by the College; dedication May 3, 
1935. Architect, James Kellum Smith, '15, of McKim, Mead & White. 

William B. Calhoun 
Bela B. Edwards 
Henry Edwards 
Joseph Vaill 
Samuel Williston 

Dedication, November 22, 1853 

President Seelye 
Richard H. Mather 
A. Lyman Williston 
William Austin Dickinson 

President Hitchcock 
William S. Clark 
Samuel Williston 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

After the erection of Converse Library in 191&-17, Morgan was occu- 
pied at various times by the Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, 
the College Physician, the Faculty Club, and by recitation rooms, until 
taken over by the Department of Fine Arts; it remained the home of 
Fine Arts until the Mead Art Building was erected in 1 948-49. 

In 1 935 the stack section, then being used for storage, was remodeled : 
the ground floor as a clubroom for the Lord JefTery Amherst Club, the 
second floor as the Edward Hitchcock Memorial Room to house the 
Memorabiha Collection which had been started by "Old Doc." Cost 
of the Memorial Room was met largely by the gift of Arthur N. Milli- 
ken, '80; a later gift from his nephew, James N. Worcester, '06, in the 
amount of 85,000, became endowment. Architect, James Kellum Smith, 
'15. Contractor, Bathelt Construction Company of Holyoke. Building 
renamed Morgan Hall. 

Originally built as a three-story building with a one-story extension to 
the east. In 1892 the extension was raised to two stories. 

In 1925 the extension was removed and the main part of the building 
was remodeled as a three-story building with lecture rooms, classrooms, 
and offices; heat and ventilation were also installed. Building renamed 
Appleton Hall. 

WiUiam S. Clark 
Luke Sweetser 
Samuel Williston 

Dedication, May 19, 1858. The dormitory was razed in 1883. 

Samuel Williston Dedication, May 19, 1858. On its erection, the third floor was occupied 

by Alumni Hall (also used for examinations), the second floor by li- 
braries of undergraduate societies, and the first floor by the Department 
of Chemistry. Subsequently, the third floor became a museum for the 
Mather Art Collection and later a freshman reading room; the two 
lower floors, after Fayerweather was built, were used as recitation 
rooms and as headquarters for the Christian Association. 




1 950-5 1 Williston 



Method of 

Cost met in part by 
grant of $72,000 
previously received 
from James Foun- 
dation of New York, 
Inc., principal lega- 
tee of Arthur Curtiss 
James, '89 


James Kellum Smith, 
'15, of McKim, Mead 
& White 


Edmund J. Rap- 
poli Co., Inc., 




amounting to 
$5,000 secured by 
Professors William 
S. Tyler and Wil- 
liam S. Clark. Dr. 
Benjamin Barrett of 
Northampton made 
largest gift of S i ,000 
and left $5,000 in 
his will as endow- 
ment; remainder 

Charles E. Parkes, 

R. R. Myers, 

1907 Barrett $11,000 Proceeds of sale of 

Renovation Strong property on 

Lincoln Avenue 
which had been the 
gift of Edward A. 
Strong, '55 

Allen Bros., 






College funds 






Gift of Class of '84 
of $10,000 

William R. Mead, 
'67 of McKim, Mead 
& White 

Allen Bros., 



land and 

Met by gifts of Wil- 
liam J. Walker and 
others (see text) and 
by Walker legacy 

George Hathorne, 
New York 

Richard H. Pon- 
sonby (masonry) 

Granite, gift of Wil- 
liam N. Flynt of 

Calvert Vaux 
(landscape architect) 

Chauncey W. 
Lessey, Amherst 

1882-83 Walker 

$100,000 Insurance, $35,000; Peabody & Stearns, 
Henry T. Morgan Boston 
bequest, $42,000; 
sundry gifts; re- 
mainder from 
Walker legacy 

William N. Flynt 
& Co., Monson 


Building Committee 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 


Except for changes in the tower, in 1880 and in 1924, the exterior re- 
mained as originally built until 1950-51, when the tower was removed 
and extensive alterations were made in the exterior and interior. The 
building is now a modern recitation building, with offices, and head- 
quarters for the Christian Association. 

President Stearns 
William S. Clark 
Samuel Williston 
Josiah B. Woods 

Cornerstone laid October 13, 1859. Material, Pelham gneiss. Galleries 
installed later by Dr. Barrett at his own expense. 

President Harris 
Arthur H. Dakin 
Arthur Curtiss James 
Charles M. Pratt 
G. Henry Whitcomb 

The 1907 renovation of the interior made the building available for 
use by the departments of modern languages. Now called Barrett Hall. 

(Purchasing) Committee: 
President Stearns 
Edward B. Gillett 
Alpheus Hardy 

Built as Meeting House of First Parish in 1828-29 ^t an approximate 
cost of 87,000 raised mostly by sale of pews; college contributed land 
and $700.00 in return for right to hold Commencements and other 
public functions there. 

Remodeling included restoring east portico which had been removed by 
the church in 1861. Dedication, June 15, 1905. 

President Stearns 
Samuel Bowles 
Edward B. Gillett 
Alpheus Hardy 
Samuel Williston 
(Austin Dickinson charged 
with general supervision 
of contract) 

President Scelye 
Richard H. Mather 
A. Lyman Williston 
(Austin Dickinson charged 
with general supervision 
of contract) 

Built to house departments of Mathematics, Astronomy, and Natural 
Philosophy, it also included a Cabinet of Mineralogy and rooms for 
president, trustees, and treasurer. Cornerstone laid June 10, 1868. 
Dedication, October 20, 1870. Gutted by fire March 29, 1882 

In 1934 the George D. Olds Memorial Library of Mathematics was 
added. And in 1950 the building was remodeled to take care of a re- 
arrangement of offices and classrooms. Work done by Buildings and 
Grounds staff. 




1870-73 Stearns 

Approx. Method of 

Cost Financing 

$70,000 Initiated in 1864 by 
gift of $30,000 from 
WilHam F. Stearns. 
Remainder of cost 
met by sundry gifts 
and by borrowing 


WilHam Appleton 
Potter, New York 

Vaux and Olmsted 
(landscape architect) 


1877 Blake Field $20,000 Proposal initiated, 

(no build- gifts secured, and 

ing) work superintended 

by Lucien Ira Blake, 
'77, during his sen- 
ior year. Largest 
donor, Charles Pratt 



Gift of Charles M. E. L. Roberts, 

Pratt, '79, over New York 

$35,000, and of 

Frederick Billings, 

$10,000; remainder 

paid from sundry 

gifts and from Henry chitect) 

T. Morgan and Fay- 

erweather bequests 

John Beston, 

Frederick Law Olm- 
sted (landscape ar- 



Pratt Gymna- 
sium Wing 
jor Swimming 
Pool and 


for Dept. 
oj Geology 

$50,000 Swimming pool was 
gift of Harold I. 
Pratt, '00; the four 
squash courts, on 
the second floor, the 
gift of Mortimer L. 
SchiflF, '96 

; 1 31, 000 College funds 

Boring & Tilton, 
New York 

Allen Bros., 



Morris Building 


James Kellum Smith, Edmund J. Rap- 
'15, of McKim, Mead poll Co., Inc., 
& White Cambridge 

1890-91 Pratt Field $25,000 Proposal initiated W. B. Tubby, E.J. Steeves, 

and Grand- and cost met by New York Amherst 

stand-Field gift of Frederic B. 

House Pratt, '87 John Y. Culyer, E. E. Davis, 

New York Northampton 

(landscape architect) (engineer) 


Building Committee 

President Stearns 
Edward B. Gillctt 
Alpheus Hardy 
Samuel Williston 
(Austin Dickinson charged 
with general supervision 
of contract) 


Material, granite from Flynt quarry in Monson. Cornerstone laid 

September 22, 1870. Dedication, July i, 1873. 

Chimes given by George Howe of Boston, father of Lieut. Sidney Walker 

Howe, '59, killed at the battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862. Gift 

made in memory of all Amherst men lost in Civil War. 

Seating capacity of church increased in 1909 by installation of galleries 

in the transepts. Contractor, Horton & Hemenway. Organ rebuilt by 

Austin Organ Co. Cost, 

Building, except for steeple containing chimes, razed in 1948. 

This land was south of present Pratt Field and its usefulness was de- 
stroyed when the railroad tracks were laid through it in 1881. In 1888 
the present Blake Field property was bought by the College from 
Professor E. P. Harris to take its place; this served as the main athletic 
field of the College until Pratt Field was developed in 1890. 

President Seelye 
Professor Mather 
A. Lyman Williston 
Charles M. Pratt 
Edward Hitchcock, Jr. 
William Austin Dickinson 

Gymnastic apparatus planned by Dr. Dudley A. Sargent of Harvard 
and Dr. Hitchcock. 

President Harris 
Charles M. Pratt 
Walter M. Howland 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

Work of remodeling was interrupted by the war and completed in 1950. 
Building now called Pratt Museum. 

Dedication, May 22, 1891. In 1926 the original fence was replaced by 
the present iron fence with ornamental gateways and structures for sale 
of tickets. Cost, Si 6,000, met by gifts of $10,000 from George D. Pratt, 
'93, and $5,000 from Herbert L. Pratt, '95. Architect, McKim, Mead 
& White; contractor, Lowell Whipple Company of Worcester. 

On September 30, 1899, the Grandstand-Field House was destroyed 
by fire and it was rebuilt the following spring in its original form; cost 
met by insurance and gift of Frederic Pratt. On October 13, 193'. 
fire destroyed the grandstand which topped the field house and it was 
not replaced; the field house, on being remodeled, was moved to its 
present location. 





Method of 




House (pur- 
chase) (re- 
named Hitch- 
cock Hall) 


Gift of D. Willis 




$20,000 Fund raised 

McKim, Mead & 

Nor cross Bros., 


by President Seelye 




and given by D. 
Willis James, Henry 
D. Hyde, '61, and 
G. Henry Whit- 
comb, '64; remain- 
der taken from un- 
restricted Fayer- 
weather bequest 

Frederick Law 
Olmsted (landscape 




Given jointly by 

W. B. Tubby, 

Allen Bros., 


George D. Pratt, 

New York 



'93, Herbert L. 

Pratt, '95, and John 
T. Pratt, '96, who 
also added $20,000 
as endowment 

1903-05 Observatory $53,000 Program promoted 
and by Professor David 

Observatory Todd, '75, through 

House whose efforts Charles 

T. Wilder of Welles- 
ley bequeathed $15, 
000, and a long 
list of others made 
donations, led by 
Mrs. Arthur Curtiss 
James for $25,000 

McKim, Mead & 
White, New York 

Albion B. 



Rink and 
Rink House 

Gift of Charles M. 
Pratt, '79 

Allen Bros., 
Amherst, Mass. 


Biology- $114,000 Gifts totaled $150, 

Geology 000, of which 

Building $50,000 was used as 

endowment. The 
long list of donors 
was headed by 
Andrew Carnegie, 
$75,000; D. Willis 
James, $20,000; 
Charles M. Pratt, 
'79, $15,000; Morti- 
mer L. Schiff, '96, 
and John W. Simp- 
son, '71, $10,000 

McKim, Mead & 
White, New York 

Horton & Hem- 
enway, Boston 


Building Committee 

President Gates 

G. Henry Whitcomb 

Herbert B. Adams 

Henry D. Hyde 

William Austin Dickinson 


Built by Lucius Boltwood as his residence in 1835. When acquired by 
the College, D. Willis James also provided funds for its remodeling as a 
student dining hall. Razed in 191 6 to make way for Converse Memorial 

Until the Laboratory of Chemistry was built in 1928, Fayerweather 
housed the Department of Chemistry in the northern half, and Physics 
in the southern half of the building. General repairs, costing 831,000, 
were made in the early 1920's and charged to the Centennial Fund. 

About 1899 the donors added a Nurses' Home. The property was sold 
in 1938 when the new Infirmary was erected on the campus. 

Arthur Curtiss James 
George A. Plimpton 
G. Henry Whitcomb 

Ground broken May 2, 1903. Cornerstone laid June 23, 1903. 

This was located just east of the main gate to Pratt Field. The rink was 
discontinued when Hitchcock Road was put through from the Cage to 
Pratt Field, and the rink house was moved to the north side of the 
field to serve as a field house for visiting teams. 

President Harris 
Arthur H. Dakin 
George A. Plimpton 
Charles M. Pratt, 
G. Henry Whitcomb 
(Treasurer Kidder charged 
with general supervision 
of contract) 

In 1 91 2 porticoes were erected over the two entrances from plans of 
McKim, Mead & White. 

As the Department of Geology began moving to Pratt Museum, the 
building was remodeled for the work of Biology alone. Completed in 
1 95 1, the expense, $65,000, was borne by the College. Contractor, 
Edmund J.Rappoli Co., Inc., Cambridge. 


Date Building 

1 9 1 1 - 1 2 Morris Pratt 


1 91 2- 1 3 Hitchcock $23,000 

Field (no 

1923 Hitchcock $85,000 


1916-17 Converse $250,000 


1 93 7-38 Converse 


1924-25 Cage 

1926 (second unit) $110,000 

1937 Change from $59,000 

conduit to tun- 
nel system, 
(first unit) 

1946-47 (second unit) 


Method of 

Gift of Charles M. 
Pratt, '79, and Mrs. 
Pratt in memory of 
their son, Morris 
Pratt, ex '11, who 
died as an under- 


Charles A. Rich, 
New York 


H. L. Hemen- 
way, Providence 

Gifts in memory of 
"Old Doc," $18,000; 
remainder from col- 
lege funds 

Centennial Fund 

Herbert J. Kellaway, 
Boston (landscape 

Herbert J. Kellaway, 
Boston (landscape 

James Gray Co., 

James E. Gray 
Co., Cambridge 

Gift of Edmund C. 
Converse in memory 
of his brother, James 
Blanchard Converse, 
'67; also bequest of 
$200,000 as endow- 

McKim, Mead & 

Whitney Com- 
pany, New York 

James Kellum Smith, Charles T. Wills, 
'15, of McKim, Mead Inc., New York 
& White 

$178,000 Centennial Gift 

McKim, Mead & 

Casper Ranger 
Construction Co., 

1925 Central $150,000 

(first unit) 

Gift of George D. McKim, Mead & 

Pratt, '93, $75,000, White 

and Mortimer L. 

Schiff, '96, $5,000; 

remainder charged 

to Centennial Gift 

Centennial Gift 
College funds 

J2,ooo College funds 



Lowell Whipple 
Co., Worcester 

Tenny & Ohmes, 
New York 

Holyoke Valve & 
Hydrant Co., 
Holyoke (Heat- 
ing Installation) 


Bathelt Construc- 
tion Co., Holyoke 

Lockwood, Greene 
& Co., Engineers 

Edmund J. Rap- 
poli Co., Inc., 

Building Committee 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 


House library, designed by James Kellum Smith, '15, added by Mrs. 
Pratt in 1935. 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

The first section of the field consisted of a baseball diamond (also used 
as two soccer fields), six tennis courts, and three terraces for outdoor 
basketball and athletics. In 1923 eighteen tennis courts were added 
and two new ball fields. The field now has twenty-five tennis courts, 
freshman football and soccer fields, and varsity practice football and 
soccer fields. 

President Meiklejohn 
Charles H. Allen 
Arthur L. Gillett 
Arthur Curtiss James 
George A. Plimpton 
(Treasurer Kidder charged 
with general supervision 
of contract) 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

For memorial and seminar rooms, see text. 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 



[321 ] 



Wild Life 
(no build- 



Method of 






Gift of Dwight W. 
Morrow, '95, and 
Mrs. Morrow 

McKim, Mead & 

Casper Ranger 
Construction Co , 


Lord Jeffery 

land and 

Amherst Inn Co., a 
Massachusetts cor- 
poration, organized 
by Ernest M. Whit- 
comb, '04. Capital- 
ized through alumni 
and townspeople at 
$285,000; loan of 
College, $100,000. 

Allen Cox of Putnam 
and Cox, Boston 

Casper Ranger 
Construction Co. , 


of Chemistry 


Gift in memory of James Kellum Smith, 

William H. Moore, ' 1 5, of McKim, Mead 

'71, by Mrs. Moore & White 
and their two sons. 

Edward and Paul, 
who also established 
an endowment fund 
of $250,000 

Herbert J. Kellaway, 
Boston (landscape 
architect ) 

Casper Ranger 
Construction Co., 

Tenney & Ohmes 


College $11,400 Gift of George D. 

Garage Pratt, '93 

James Kellum Smith, 
' 1 5, of McKim, Mead 
& White 

Casper Ranger 
Construction Co., 



50,824 College funds 

Design by Henry B. 
Thacher, approved 
by McKim, Mead & 

Fred T. Ley & 
Co., Springfield 



House at 





Cost of building and 
endowment met by 
gift of $25,000 from 
Mr. and Mrs. Bur- 
ton Nichols, parents 
of Stewart B. Nich- 
ols, '22, first Amherst 
representative at Do- 
shisha; gift of $25,000 
from Arthur Curtiss 
James, '89; and gifts 
from a large num- 
ber of alumni 

Sketch plans pre- 
pared by Allen Cox 
of Putnam and Cox, 
Boston, elaborated 
by a Japanese archi- 


Building Committee 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 


This was part of the land acquired from Sidney White. The portion 
east of the Central Vermont Railroad and extending to East Street 
was developed in the 1 930's as a Wild Life Sanctuary under the direc- 
tion of Professor A. S. Goodale. 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

Kitchen equipment for the cafeteria was the gift of Edward Bramhall 
Brooks, '93, president of Bramhall, Deane Company of New York. 
Cafeteria removed in 1940 when Valentine was built. 

In 1934 Mrs. Morrow added a house library, in memory of her hus- 
band, designed by Frederick J. Woodbridge, '21; dedication, Octo- 
ber 28, 1934. 

Ernest M. Whitcomb, '04, 

Frederick S. AUis, '93 
Harry A. Cushing, '91 
Edward S. Whitney, '90 
Cady R. Elder 
Stanley King for trustees 

For account of furnishing, see text. The College has from time to time 
received gifts and bequests of stock in the Inn Company, the largest 
being the gift of the Pratt brothers, $25,000 par. First mortgage held 
by the College. 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

Dedication, October 25, 1929 




Dedication, October 29, 1935, on the occasion of the Goth anniversary 
celebration of Doshisha. George A. Plimpton, chairman of the Am- 
herst Board, delivered the presentation address. 








Approx. Method oj Architect Contractor 

Cost Financing 

$98,000 $50,000 from John James Kellum Smith Bathelt Construc- 

Davenport bequest; 'i5,of McKim,Mead tion Co., Holyoke 

remainder from col- & White 

lege funds 








College funds 


Gifts from under- 
graduates and 1300 


Charles T. Wills, 
Inc., New York 


Harold I. 
Pratt Pool 


Gifts from Harold I. 
Pratt, '00, and Her- 
bert L. Pratt, '95, 
of $50,000 each; be- 
quest of Charles M. 
Pratt, '79; and gifts 
from Mrs. Charles 
M. Pratt, Frederic B. 
Pratt, '87, and Rich- 
ardson Pratt, '15 



College $179,000 Bequest of Arthur 

Infirmary N. Milliken, '80 





$88,700 from execu- 
tors of estate of Ell- 
wood R. Kirby of 
Philadelphia; addi- 
tional amounts, sub- 
ject to annuities, still 
to come; remainder 
of cost charged to 
college funds 

1937-38 Little Red 


Gift of James Tur- 
ner, '80, whose 
brother and sister 
on his death gave a 
$20,000 fund for en- 
dowment, to which 
Gertrude King 

added $3,000. 

1937 Grosvenor $25,000 

House (including 

( purchase ) remodel- 

College funds; gift 
of Gilbert H. Gros- 
venor, '97, of $5,000 
toward remodeling 







Bequest of Samuel 
H. Valentine, '66, 
and Mrs. Valentine 








Bathelt Construc- 
tion Co., Holyoke 

ditto Buildings and 

Grounds Dept. 

ditto E. J. Pinney Co., 


Building Committee Remarks 

Standing Committee Dedication, October 26, 1 934 

(see Appendix 6) and 

Special Committee of 

Robert W. Maynard, 

Lucius R. Eastman, and 

George D. Pratt 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) and 
Special Committee of 
Robert W. Maynard, 
Lucius R. Eastman, and 
George D. Pratt 

Standing Committee Dedication, November 5, 1937 

(see Appendix 6) 

ditto Gift of Frederick T. Bedford, '99, in the amount of $5,000 furnished the 
living room and established a library fund in memory of the Class of 
1899. Open House, February 24, 1938 

ditto Dedication, March 17, 1939 

ditto Open House, September 19-23, 1938 

ditto This was the home of Edwin A. Grosvenor, '67, which was bought and 

remodeled as faculty offices 

ditto Built primarily as a dining hall, it also has fifty-five rooms for student 

occupancy. Open House, October 29, 1941. 









(for re- 

Method of 
College funds 


James Kellum Smith, 
'15, of McKim, Mead 
& White 


Buildings and 
Grounds Dept. 




On vote of Alumni 


Field and 

Fund Committee, 


the Fund for one 

Arthur A. Shurcliflf 

Bathelt Construc- 


year was used; con- 
tributions from 3400 
alumni totaled over 
% 1 00,000 

of Boston (landscape 

tion Co., Holyoke 

Co. of Danbury 


James Hall 





College funds 

James Kellum Smith, 

Edmund J. Rap- 

Stearns Hall 

'15, of McKim, Mead 

poli Co., Inc., 


& White 



1946 G.I. Village $9,400 College funds 

1 945-46 Lord Jeffery $90,000 

Amherst (including 

Clubhouse remodel- 

( purchase) ing) 

College funds 


Casper Ranger 
Construction Co., 

1948-49 Mead Art $560,000 Bequest of William 
Building R. Mead, '67, and 

Mrs. Mead 


Edmund J. Rap- 
poli Co., Inc., 


Building Commit lee 

Standing Committee 
(see Appendix 6) 



Bought from Sidney White in 1924, subject to a life estate, and re- 
modeled as faculty clubhouse. In 1947 Frank G. Nelson, '73, be- 
queathed a fund for maintenance. The former headquarters of the 
Club, the Lentell house, became a student rooming house, and was 
later remodeled as faculty apartments. 

The granite circle came from the Chelmsford quarries, the granite posts 
and seats from the quarries at Deer Island, Maine. Dedication, June 16, 

Field contains baseball diamond and fields for football and soccer 
practice, in winter a skiing slope. Varsity baseball games were trans- 
ferred from Pratt Field to Memorial Field in the spring of 1949. 


ditto The G. I. Village consisted of ten temporary apartment buildings con- 

taining sixty-one housekeeping apartments. Erected by the government 
as emergency housing for married veterans. 

ditto Property at 50 Lincoln Avenue bought by College for 812,500 and 

remodeled at a cost of $77,000 as a clubhouse for the Lord Jeff Club. 
A fire, on October 15, 1947, destroyed the third floor and in repairing, 
it was remodeled as a two-story building. 


Rotherwas Room was the bequest of Herbert L. Pratt, '95. Dedication, 
May 20, 1950. 



by Streets 

Name of House 

Observatory House 


31 College Street 
86 College Street 
95 College Street 
67 Dana Street 
77 Dana Street 
85 Dana Street 

22 Hitchcock Road 
29 Hitchcock Road 

32 Hitchcock Road 

42 Hitchcock Road 

43 Hitchcock Road 
41 Lincoln Avenue 
61 Lincoln Avenue 
97 Lincoln Avenue 

155 Lincoln Avenue 
157 Lincoln Avenue 

99 Northampton Road 

14 Orchard Street 

22 Orchard Street 

23 Orchard Street 
40 Orchard Street 
46 Orchard Street 
36 Snell Street 

46 Snell Street 

76 Snell Street 
1 75 South Pleasant Street 
197 South Pleasant Street 
205 South Pleasant Street 
2 1 1 South Pleasant Street 
2 1 7 South Pleasant Street 
227 South Pleasant Street 
233 South Pleasant Street 
249 South Pleasant Street 
263 South Pleasant Street 
271 South Pleasant Street 
297 South Pleasant Street 
3 1 7 South Pleasant Street 


Name of House 

















395 South Pleasant Street 
405 South Pleasant Street 
43 Sunset Avenue 
12 Walnut Street 
1 7 Walnut Street 
21 Woodside Avenue 
33 Woodside Avenue 
58 Woodside Avenue 
72 Woodside Avenue 
75 Woodside Avenue 
81-83 Woodside Avenue 

87 Woodside Avenue 

88 Woodside Avenue 
100 Woodside Avenue 
147 Woodside Avenue 
155 Woodside Avenue 



Chronological Order 



Name of House 




I 75 South Pleasant Streel 



58 Woodside Avenue 
(moved from site of 
Kirby Theater) 



3 1 College Street 


Observatory House 

76 Snell Street 



197 South Pleasant Street 



95 College Street 



205 South Pleasant Street 



1 7 Walnut Street 



2 1 1 South Pleasant Street 



77 Dana Street 



85 Dana Street 



67 Dana Street 



227 South Pleasant Street 



22 Hitchcock Road 



2 1 7 South Pleasant Street 



12 Walnut Street 



249 South Pleasant Street 



23 Orchard Street 



297 South Pleasant Street 



88 Woodside Avenue 



263 South Pleasant Street 



100 Woodside Avenue 



46 Snell Street 



233 South Pleasant Street 



271 South Pleasant Street 



43 Hitchcock Road 



405 South Pleasant Street 



395 South Pleasant Street 



155 Woodside Avenue 



86 College Street 



3 1 7 South Pleasant Street 



33 Woodside Avenue 



87 Woodside Avenue 



32 Hitchcock Road 




Name of House 




42 Hitchcock Road 



21 Woodside Avenue 







29 Hitchcock Road 
22 Orchard Street 
97 Lincoln Avenue 
14 Orchard Street 
147 Woodside Avenue 



40 Orchard Street 



72 Woodside Avenue 



43 Sunset Avenue 



81-83 Woodside Avenue 



46 Orchard Street 





41 Lincoln Avenue 
75 Woodside Avenue 
36 Snell Street 



99 Northampton Road 
61 Lincoln Avenue 



155 Lincoln Avenue 
157 Lincoln Avenue 

[331 ] 


Chronological Order 

(Numbers refer to Map of Land Acquisitions in Appendix 8) 
I. 1820 Acquired from Moses and Jerusha Dickinson 
"^' > 1827 Acquired from Moses, Jonathan, and Jerusha Dickinson 

55. 1828 From John and Lydia Leland there was acquired a plot including 
the present location of Morgan Hall and the President's house, 
and extending along the dotted lines to a point near the corner of 
Pratt Field and across Northampton Road. The portion shown 
in dotted lines was later disposed of. 

57. 1833 Acquired from W. F. Sellen 
7. 1840 "Portion of common in front of college grounds" deeded by the 
Town of Amherst for college use. Boundaries indefinite. 

59. 1 854 A triangular plot back of College Hall acquired from Enoch and 
Hannah Kingsbury. This originally extended to a point on North- 
ampton Road below Woodside Avenue, the lower portion of 
which has since been disposed of. 
9. 1 86 1 Acquired from John Dickinson 

II. 1 866 Purchased from Lucius Boltwood 

61. 1867 The College Hall lot known as the "Old Meeting House Prop- 
erty." This was deeded to the College by the inhabitants of the 
First Parish of Amherst. 

95. 1868 Hallock Grove, acquired from Edward Hitchcock, Leavitt and 
Elizabeth P. Hallock, to be maintained as a public park 

13. 1873 The Boyden property, acquired from John D. Boyden 
102. 1 88 1 Blake Field, containing about four acres, acquired from E. P. 
Harris, subdivided in 1 938 into four lots, two of which have been 

15. 1886 Acquired from William Austin Dickinson 
III. 1 890 Pratt Field, acquired from a number of individual property owners 
through Frederic B. Pratt 

17. 1 89 1 Lucius Boltwood homestead, including item No. 65 of East Cam- 
pus and the intervening section which was later disposed of, but 
excluding dotted section reserved for Dickinson Street; acquired 
from estate of Lucius Boltwood 

65. 1 89 1 This lot originally included the portion between it and the C. V. 
tracks and was acquired from the heirs of the estate of Lucius 
Boltwood with plot No. 1 7 

19. 1892 H. deF. Smith House, 31 College Street, acquired from Hetty S. B. 

93. 1894 A strip suitable for a roadway from Churchill Street, extension to 
College Street, which has not been opened as a public road 












1897 A strip of land from what is now known as the Grosvenor Place, 
acquired from W. C. Esty 

Part of Observatory lot, acquired from Fanny Stearns Davis 
Observatory House lot, acquired from Mary Stearns 
Morse House, 1 97 South Pleasant Street, bought from Samuel Morse 
Bought from Sidney D. White 

Snell Street Park, acquired from Arthur F. Stearns; restricted to 
park purposes 
46. 1907 President Olds House, 43 Hitchcock Road. In 1927, from a fund 
raised by alumni, the house was built and presented to the College 
for the life use of President and Mrs. Olds. The land was originally 
acquired in 1907 from Catherine P. Kingman, extending to the 
railroad tracks as indicated by dotted lines, and was the site of 
Pratt skating rink. Part of the land has been used for Hitchcock 
Road and parts sold to W. J. Newlin and C. S. Porter for resi- 
dential purposes. 

908 Addition to Observatory lot, acquired from Helen T. Magill 

909 The Richardson property, purchased from the widow of Profes- 
sor Richardson. The house was demolished about 191 o. 

91 1 Acquired from Ellen C. Field 

91 1 Hitchcock Field, purchased from Sidney D. White 

912 The Houghton property, acquired from the Phi Delta Theta 
Fraternity in exchange for a lot on the corner of Woodside Avenue 
and Northampton Road. The house was demolished in 1913. 

914 Mt. Doma Golf Course property, acquired from George A. 

914 Addition to Mt. Doma Golf Course, acquired from George A. 

914 Hamlin House, 205 South Pleasant Street, bought from estate of 

Wolcott Hamlin through H. W. Kidder 
916 Lot at 67 Dana Street, bought from Ellis H. Rogers, on which a 

house was built for a faculty residence 
916 Lot at 77 Dana Street, bought from H. F. Hamilton, on which a 

house was built for a faculty residence 
916 Lot at 85 Dana Street, bought from S. L. Galpin, on which a 

house was built for a faculty residence 
916 Bartlett House, 21 1 South Pleasant Street, bought from Daniel H. 


916 Burnett House, 1 7 Walnut Street, bought through John W. Harlow 

917 Bought from Delta Upsilon Fraternity. The house was removed 
and Hitchcock Road runs through the middle of this plot. 

917 Fisher House, 227 South Pleasant Street, bought from Anna A. 
Fisher, wife of G. Edward Fisher 

918 Adjacent to Hitchcock Field, acquired from Philip Spaulding 
through George A. Hauser, Jr. 

919 The Tuckerman homestead, acquired from the Amherst Savings 

919 Britt property, corner of Woodside Avenue and Walnut Street, 
bought from the Britt family through John W. Harlow. House 
torn down in 1933 










ig20 Lentell House, 217 South Pleasant Street, bought from Ada and 

Jessie Lentell. Renamed Webster House in 1939 
1920 Williams House, 12 Walnut Street, bought from Ada and Jessie 
Helen Hunt Jackson House, 249 South Pleasant Street, and ad- 

14./ " joining lot, bought from Robert P. Utter 

86. 1922 Olds House, 23 Orchard Street, bought from George D. Olds 

22. 1924 Scott property, 297 South Pleasant Street. Extent of original plot 
indicated by dotted lines, part of which was sold to C. S. Porter 
and J. B. Fuller for residential purposes and later repurchased. 

39. 1924 The White homestead, acquired from Sidney D. White 

50. 1925 Wakefield House, 88 Woodside Avenue, bought from Charles E, 

48. 1925 Crowley House, 100 Woodside Avenue, bought from Jeremiah D. 

16. 1925 Rideout House, 263 South Pleasant Street, bought from Eliza C. 

18. 1925 Edward Hitchcock House, 271 South Pleasant Street, bought 
from M. B. Kingman, including land extending diagonally 
across Hitchcock Road as indicated by dotted lines. Part of this 
land was used for Hitchcock Road and part sold to Gilbert Hoag 
and Bailey Brown for residential use. Mrs. Kingman retains life 
use of the house. 

10. 1925 Chapman House, 233 South Pleasant Street, bought from Chap- 
man family through A. H. Dakin 

Hallock House, 46 Snell Street, bought from George S. Allen 
Acquired from Sidney D. White, through Herbert J. Kellaway 
Acquired from Fred C. Montague. House demolished in 1940 
Acquired from George B. Burnett et al, with the exception of a 
right of way for Dickinson Street indicated by dotted lines 

45. 1927 Deeded to the Town of Amherst for an extension of Dickinson 
Street by the former owners. In March 1927 the Town voted to 
discontinue this portion of the street. 

69. 1927 Formerly known as the Owen lot. This was acquired from 
Walter D. Cowls with lots No. 71, 75, and 77. 

71. 1927 This is the lower end of the Tuckerman pasture, acquired from 
Walter D. Cowls with lots No. 69, 75, and 77. 

75. 1927 That portion of the Tuckerman pasture which lies southwest of 
the B & M tracks, acquired from Walter D. Cowls with No. 69, 
71, and 77. 

1927 The Cook pasture, acquired from Walter D. Cowls along with 
No. 69, 71, and 75 

1928 Acquired from Cady R. Elder in exchange for plot A lying 
between No. 65 and C. V. tracks 

1928 Lincoln House, 405 South Pleasant Street, bought from Horatio 

1928 A. B. Allen House, 395 South Pleasant Street, bought from A. B. 

1929 Kimball House, 155 Woodside Avenue, bought from Julia S. 
















1930 Cooper Homestead, 86 College Street, bought from Alice Cooper 

1 93 1 Land at 58 Woodside Avenue, bought from A. F. Johnson, to 
which the Boyden House was moved in 1937 

1 93 1 The Bowker lots, acquired from Charles H. Bowker 

1 93 1 Corner Woodside Avenue and Orchard Street, given by Frederic 
B. Pratt 

1932 Watts House, 73 Woodside Avenue, bought from William H. 

1932 Snell House, 317 South Pleasant Street, bought from Elliot 
Snell Hall 

1934 Brown House, 87 Woodside Avenue, bought from estate of E. M. 

1934 Corner of Kendrick Place and Northampton Road, given to the 
College by Charles W. Walker and F. T. Bedford as an adjunct 
to the Theta Delta Chi grounds 
''7- '935 About an acre of land and storage shed purchased from the 

liquidation of the Hills Company 
40. 1935 Originally part of the Scott place, this plot at 32 Hitchcock Road 
was sold to J. B. Fuller in 1930 and, with the house, repurchased 
by the College in 1935. 
3^- 1935 Originally part of the Scott and Kingman properties, this plot 
at 42 Hitchcock Road was sold to C. S. Porter in 1929, and re- 
purchased by the College in 1935. 

Hoag House, 29 Hitchcock Road, repurchased from Gilbert T. 

Collins House, 21 Woodside Avenue, bought from Amherst 
Savings Bank 

Heman Humphrey House, 22 Orchard Street, bought from The 
Hampshire Company (E. M. Whitcomb) 

Bigelow House, 14 Orchard Street, bought from W. P. Bigelow 
Phillips House, 97 Lincoln Avenue, bought from Paul C. Phillips 
through R. C. Williams 

Rice House, 147 Woodside Avenue, bought from Victor A. Rice 
Grosvenor place, acquired from G. H. Grosvenor 
South Common; by vote of the Town of Amherst in 1937, an 
easement was granted by the Town to the College for the per- 
petual right to develop and use this tract for park purposes. 
1 19. 1938 Foote land, bought from Arnold C. Foote to provide a source of 

Harris House, 72 Woodside Avenue, bought from E. P. Harris 
Frost House, 43 Sunset Avenue, bought from Robert Frost 
(about 200 yds. north of the border of the map) 
Loomis House, 40 Orchard Street, bought from Mabel Loomis 
GrofT House, 81 Woodside Avenue, bought from U. G. Groff 
Kings House, 41 Lincoln Avenue, given by Stanley and Margaret 
P. King 

Kidder House, 46 Orchard Street, bought from Mary B. Kidder 
Burnett land, bought from George B. Burnett 
Acquired from the estate of Sidney D. White 




























104. 1943 Montgomery House, 75 Woods'de Avenue, bought from W. E. 

106. 1945 Bennett House, 36 Snell Street, bought from Mabel M. Bennett 
123. 1945 Theta Delta Chi property acquired by gift of the fraternity and 

its alumni 
125. 1945 Purchased from Cora F. DeRose, and converted for use by the 

Lord Jeffery Amherst Club 
127. 1946 Purchased from J. S. Pendleton. A portion was sold to the 

town in 1947, leaving about eight acres of undeveloped land use- 
ful principally as a source of loam. 
108. 1946 Hunt House, 99 Northampton Road, bought from E. V. 

114. 1947 Allis House, 61 Lincoln Avenue, bought from Peter Odegard 
no. 1947 Bangs property, a lot with two houses, 155 and 157 Lincoln 

Avenue, bought from H. D. and R. C. Bangs, about 140 yds. 

north of Amity Street. 



Alpha Delta Phi. Founded at Hamilton College 1832. Amherst Chapter, 1837. 
First house purchased 1874. New house built 1890. Present house built 1927. 
Cost $144,000. Architect, Maurice B. Biscoe of Andrews, Jones, Biscoe & 
Whitmore. Building Committee: George D. Pratt, '93, chairman, and twenty- 
seven others. Contractor, H. Wales Lines Co., Meriden, Conn. Assessed value 
of property in 1950, $85,700. No mortgage. Appraised value of house in 1951, 

Psi Upsilon. Founded at Union College 1833. Amherst Chapter, 1841. First 
house purchased 1879. Present house built 191 3. Cost, $74,000. Architect, 
Allen Cox, Boston. Building Committee: William S. Tyler, '95, and six others. 
Contractor, Casper Ranger Construction Company, Holyoke. Assessed value 
of property in 1950, $65,900. No mortgage. Appraised value of house in 1951, 

Delta Kappa Epsilon. Founded at Yale College 1844. Amherst Chapter, 1846. 
First house purchased 1881. Present house built 19 14. Cost, $54,621. Architect, 
Lionell Moses, II, of New York. Building Committee: Henry P. Kendall, '99, 
and Stanley King, '03. Contractor, H. Wales Lines Co., Meriden, Conn. 
Assessed value of property in 1950, $42,500. No mortgage. Appraised value of 
house in 1951, $156,300. Addition built in 1948; cost, $15,000. 

Delta Upsilon. Founded at Williams College 1834. Amherst Chapter, 1847. 
First house bought 1882. Present house built 191 6. Cost, $42,276. Architect, 
Putnam & Cox, Boston. Building Committee: Fred M. Smith, '84, chairman, 
and ten others. Contractor, Allen Bros., Amherst. Assessed value of property 
in 1950, $47,000. No mortgage. Appraised value in 1951, $128,000. 

Chi Psi. Founded at Union College 1841. Amherst Chapter, 1864. First house 
built 1885. Present house built 1923. Original cost, $83,770. Architect, Stephen- 
son & Wheeler (Robert S. Stephenson, '80). Building Committee: Arthur C. 
Rounds, '87, chairman, and others. Contractor, Albion B. Allen, Amherst. 
Assessed value of property in 1 950, $66,500. No mortgage. Appraised value of 
house in 1951, $163,800. 

Chi Phi. Fraternity is the outgrowth of three organizations, founded in 1824, 
1858, and i860. Amherst Chapter founded 1873. First house built 1885. Present 
house built 1918. Cost, $50,000. Architect, Putnam & Cox, Boston. Building 
Committee: Eldon Keith, '02, chairman, and eight others. Contractor, Albion 
B. Allen, Amherst. Assessed value of property in 1950, $53,150. No mortgage. 
Appraised value of house in 1951, $161,000. 


Beta Theta Pi. Founded at Miami University 1839. Amherst Chapter, 1883. 
First house purchased 1886. Present house built 1916. Cost, $45,000. Architect, 
Putnam & Cox, Boston. Building Committee: George P. Steele, '88, chairman, 
and five others. Contractor, Casper Ranger Construction Co., Holyoke. As- 
sessed value of property in 1950, $45,500. No mortgage. Appraised value of 
house in 1951, $147,900. 

Theta Delta Chi. Founded at Union College 1847. Amherst Chapter, 1885. 
First house purchased 1889. Present house built 1921. Cost, $106,000. Archi- 
tect, Putnam & Cox, Boston. Building Committee: Clinton W. Tylee, '09, and 
seven others. Contractor, Casper Ranger Construction Co., Holyoke. Assessed 
value of property in 1950, $46,900. No mortgage. Appraised value of house in 
1 95 1, $115,850. Title held by Amherst College; house leased to Chapter. 

Phi Delta Theta. Founded at Miami University 1848. Amherst Chapter, 1888. 
First house purchased 1894. Present house built 1913. First house sold to 
College in 191 2 for $22,500 plus site of present house. Cost, $40,000. Archi- 
tect, Putnam & Cox, Boston. Contractor, Holt & Fairchild. Assessed value of 
property in 1950, $33,000. Appraised value of house in 195 1, $84,300. Mortgage 
held by College $3,671. 

Phi Gamma Delta. Founded at Jefferson College 1848. Amherst Chapter, 1893. 
First house (the Luke Sweetser house) purchased 1903. Remodeled 1929. Cost, 
$42,000. Architect, Karl S. Putnam, Northampton. Building Committee 
G. Brinton Burnett, '10, chairman, and five others. Contractor, E. D. Bosworth, 
Amherst. Assessed value of property in 1950, $35,000. Appraised value of 
house in 1951, $109,375. Mortgage held outside, $28,200. 

Phi Kappa Psi {now Phi Alpha Psi). Founded at Jefferson College 1852. Amherst 
Chapter, 1895. Became a local in 1947. First house purchased 1902. Present 
house (former Seelye house) remodeled 1922. Cost, $86,000. Architect, Allen 
Cox, Boston. Building Committee: Dean Blanchard, '16, chairman, and others. 
Contractor, Albion Allen, Amherst. Committee on furnishings: Ralph W. 
Wheeler, '06, chairman. Assessed value of property in 1950, $46,000. Appraised 
value of house in 1951, $104,100. Mortgage held by College, $16,880. 

Delta Tau Delta (now Kappa Theta). Founded at Bethany College 1858. Amherst 
Chapter, 1918, from local Kappa Theta. Became local again in 1946. First 
house purchased 1909. Present house built 1932 (on property formerly the 
home of Professor Wm. S. Tyler, '30). Cost, $61,730. Architect, J. D. Leland, 
Boston. Building Committee: John C. Wight, '10, and two others. Contractor, 
Eastern States Construction Co. Assessed value of property in 1950, $42,200. 
Appraised value of house in 1 95 1 , $ 1 26,500. Mortgage held by College, $4,540.94; 
held outside, $24,300. 

Theta Xi. Founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1864. Amherst Chap- 
ter, 1932, from local Sigma Delta Rho (founded 1909). House (formerly, 1891- 
1900, Mrs. Stearns' School for Girls) purchased 1924. Remodeled 1940. Cost 

(including cost of alterations), 840,000. Architect, C. H. Sherwood, New York. 
Decorators, Jones, McDuffee & Stratton, Boston. Building Committee: Lowell 
Shumway, '14, chairman, and three others. Contractor, Casper Ranger Con- 
struction Co., Holyoke. Assessed value of property in 1950, $24,000. Appraised 
value of house in 1951, $74,850. Mortgage held by College, $9,192. 

[ 339 J 


The Committee on Buildings and Grounds was established as a standing 
committee of the Board of Trustees at the meeting of the Board held on 
November 19, 1903. The amendment covering its establishment reads as fol- 
lows: "The Committee on Buildings and Grounds shall consist of three mem- 
bers of this Board, of whom the President of the College shall be ex-officio one. 
The members of this Committee, other than the President of the College, shall, 
after their first election, be elected annually at the spring meeting on nomina- 
tion by the Board itself. Their term of office shall begin at the adjournment of 
the spring meeting." 

A list of elections follows: 

November 19, 1903 L. Mason Clarke 

E. Winchester Donald 
May 26, 1904 same 

November 17, 1904 Arthur Curtiss James elected to succeed 

E. Winchester Donald, deceased 
May 23, 1905 L. Mason Clarke 

Arthur Curtiss James 
May 24, 1906 same 

May 23, 1907 same 

At the meeting of the Board held on November 14, 1907, the Committee 
on Buildings and Grounds was reorganized, as follows: "The Committee on 
Buildings and Grounds shall consist of four members of this Board besides the 
President of the College, who shall be ex-officio a member. The members of 
this Committee other than the President of the College shall be elected annually 
at the autumn meeting of the Trustees. Their term of office shall begin at the 
adjournment of the autumn meeting." 

The list of elections continues: 

November 14, 1907 Charles H. Allen 

L. Mason Clarke 
Arthur H. Dakin 
(Note: "A vacancy is left in the Committee in view of the 
vacancy existing at present in the Board of Trustees.") 
December 10, 1908 Charles H. Allen 

Arthur C. Rounds 
Frank W. Stearns 

November i8, 1909 

November 10, 1910 
November 16, 191 1 

November 14, 191 2 
November 20, 191 3 

November 12, 191 4 
November 11, 1 9 1 5 
June 20, 1 91 6 

November 9, 1916 

November 8, 191 7 
November 7, 191 8 

November 6, 191 9 

Arthur L. Gillett 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Arthur C. Rounds 
Frank VV. Stearns 

Arthur L. Gillett 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Frank W. Stearns 
Robert A. Woods 

Arthur L. Gillett 
George A. Hall 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Robert A. Woods 

Frank W. Stearns added to Com- 

Charles H. Allen 
George A. Hall 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Frank W. Stearns 
Robert A. Woods 

Charles H. Allen 
William C. Breed 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Frank W. Stearns 
Robert A. Woods 

At the meeting of the Board held on November 4, 1920, Mr. Rugg, for the 
Committee on Nominations, called attention to the fact that the Board had 
in recent years been appointing more than four members, though the Rules 
of the Board specified that four, with the President, ex-officio, should constitute 
the Committee on Buildings and Grounds. Mr. Rugg further suggested an 
amendment to the Rules by which the Committee would consist of "not less 
than four nor more than six members of the Board" besides the President of 
the College, ex-officio. (Adopted May 13, 1922) 

November 4, 1920 

November 12, 1921 

Charles H. Allen 
Edward T. Esty 
Cornelius H. Patton 
Frank W. Stearns, chairman 
Edward T. Esty 
Stanley King 

[341 ] 

October 21, 1922 

October 20, 1923 

November 15, 1924 
October 17, 1925 

October 16, 1926 
October 22, 1927 

October 20, 1928 

October 26, 1929 
October 18, 1930 

October 17, 1931 

October 15, 1932 

October 14, 1933 

Cornelius H. Patton 

Frank W. Stearns, chairman 

Stanley King 

Cornelius H. Patton 

Jason N. Pierce 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Frank W. Stearns 

William C. Breed 

Stanley King 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Frank W. Stearns 


William C. Breed 

Stanley King, chairman 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt 

Frank W. Stearns 


William C. Breed 

Stanley King 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Frank W. Stearns 

Louis G. Caldwell 

Arthur L. Gillett 

Stanley King 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 


Charles K. Arter 

Louis G. Caldwell 

Stanley King 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Charles K. Arter 

Stanley King 

Robert W. Maynard 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Charles K. Arter 

Louis G. Caldwell 

Robert W. Maynard 

Cornelius H. Patton 

George D. Pratt, chairman 

Charles K. Arter 


October 13, 1934 
October 12, 1935 

October 10, 1936 

October 23, 1937 

October 8, 1938 

Louis G. Caldwell 

Lucius R. Eastman 

Arthur L. Kinsolving 

Robert W. Maynard 

George D. Pratt, chairman 


Special Committee (as delegated 

by Executive Committee) : 

Lewis W. Douglas 

Lucius R. Eastman, chairman 

Robert W. Maynard 
Special Committee (as delegated 
by Executive Committee): 

Lewis W. Douglas 

Lucius R. Eastman 

Robert W. Maynard, chairman 

Herbert L. Pratt 
Special Committee: 

Lucius R. Eastman 

Robert W. Maynard, chairman 

George E. Pierce 

Herbert L. Pratt 
Frank L. Boyden 
Lucius R. Eastman 
Robert W. Maynard, chairman 
Herbert L. Pratt 

At the meeting of the Board held October 28, 1939, the By-laws were 
amended to remove the restriction which limited the Buildings and Grounds 
Committee to "four to six members." 

October 28, 1939 

October 19, 1940 

October 25, 1941 

Frederick S. Bale 
Frank L. Boyden 
Lucius R. Eastman 
William S. Ladd, chairman 
Herbert L. Pratt 
Frederick S. Bale 
Frank L. Boyden 
William S. Ladd 
Walter S. Orr, chairman 
Herbert L. Pratt 
Frederick S. Bale, chairman 
Frank L. Boyden 
Edward T. Esty 
Walter S. Orr 
Herbert L. Pratt 


October 24, 1942 

October 23, 1943 

October 21, 1944 

October 27, 1945 

October 26, 1946 
October 25, 1947 

October 30, 1948 

November 5, 1949 

Frederick S. Bale, chairman 

Frank L. Boyden 

Richmond Mayo-Smith 

Walter S. Orr 

Herbert L, Pratt 

Frederick S. Bale, chairman 

Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Henry S. Kingman 

Richmond Mayo-Smith 

Walter S. Orr 

Herbert L. Pratt 

Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Clarence Francis 

Henry S. Kingman 

Richmond Mayo-Smith, chairman 

Walter S. Orr 

Herbert L. Pratt 

Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Richard H. Gregory 

Henry S. Kingman 

Richmond Mayo-Smith, chairman 

Walter S. Orr 

Paul D. Weathers 


Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Richard H. Gregory 

Henry S. Kingman 

Richmond Mayo-Smith, chairman 

Paul D. Weathers 

Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Richard H. Gregory 

Henry S. Kingman 

Carroll B. Low 

Richmond Mayo-Smith, chairman 

Paul D. Weathers 

Frank L. Boyden 

Frederick S. Fales 

Richard H. Gregory 

Henry S. Kingman 

Carroll B. Low, chairman 

Paul D. Weathers 


October 28, 1 950 Frank L. Boyden 

Richard H. Gregory 
Henry S. Kingman 
Carroll B. Low, chairman 
Paul D. Weathers 




January i, 1951 

Campus and Other Property Usedjor College Purposes {Odd Numbers) 


Acquired from Moses and Jerusha Dickinson. 

Acquired from Moses, Jonathan, and Jerusha Dickinson. 

"Portion of common in front of college grounds," deeded by the Town 
of Amherst for college use. Boundaries indefinite. 
Acquired from John Dickinson. 
Purchased from Lucius Boltwood. 

The Boyden property, acquired from John D. Boyden. 
Acquired from William Austin Dickinson. 

Lucius Boltwood homestead, including item No. 65 of the East 
Campus and the intervening section which was later disposed of, but 
excluding dotted section reserved for Dickinson Street; acquired from 
the estate of Lucius Boltwood. 

H. deF. Smith House, 31 College Street, acquired from Hetty S. B. 

A strip of land from what is now known as the Grosvenor place, ac- 
quired from W. C. Esty. 
Bought from Sidney D. White. 

The Richardson property, purchased from the widow of Professor 
Richardson. The house was demolished about 1910. 
Acquired from Ellen C. Field. 

Hitchcock Field, purchased from Sidney D. White. 
The Houghton property, acquired from the Phi Delta Theta Fra- 
ternity in exchange for a lot on the corner of Woodside Avenue and 
Northampton Road. The house was demolished in 191 3. 

35. 1 91 8 Adjacent to Hitchcock Field, acquired from Philip Spaulding through 
George A. Hauser, Jr. 

37. 1 91 9 The Tuckerman homestead, acquired from the Amherst Savings 

39. 1924 The White homestead, acquired from Sidney D. White. 

41. 1927 Acquired from Fred C. Montague. House demolished in 1940. 

43. 1927 Acquired from George B. Burnett et al, with the exception of a right 
of way for Dickinson Street indicated by dotted lines. 

45. 1927 Deeded to the Town of Amherst for an extension of Dickinson Street 
by the former owners. In March 1927 the Town voted to discontinue 
this portion of the street. 

49- '937 Grosvenor place, acquired from G. H. Grosvenor. 

51. 1938 South Common; by vote of the Town of Amherst in 1937, an easement 
was granted by the Town to the College for the perpetual right to 
develop and use this tract for park purposes. 


55. 1828 From John and Lydia Leland there was acquired a plot including the 
present location of Morgan Hall and the President's House, and ex- 





5- J 




1 1. 















tending along the dotted lines to a point near the corner of Pratt 
Field and across Northampton Road. The portion shown in dotted 
lines was later disposed of. 

57- '833 Acquired from W. F. Sellen. 

59. 1854 A triangular plot back of College Hall acquired from Enoch and 
Hannah Kingsbury. This originally extended to a point on Northamp- 
ton Road below Woodside Avenue, the lower portion of which has 
since been disposed of. 

61. 1867 The College Hall lot known as the "Old Meeting House Property." 
This was deeded to the College by the inhabitants of the First Parish 
of Amherst. 


65. 1 89 1 This plot originally included the portion between it and the C. V. 

tracks and was acquired from the heirs of the estate of Lucius Boltwood 

with plot No. 1 7. 
67. 1926 Acquired from Sidney D. White through Herbert J. Kellaway. 
69. 1927 Formerly known as the Owen lot. This was acquired from Walter D. 

Cowls with lots No. 71, 75, and 77. 
71. 1927 This is the lower end of the Tuckerman pasture, acquired from 

Walter D. Cowls with lots No. 69, 75, and 77. 
73. 1928 Acquired from Cady R. Elder in exchange for plot A lying between 

No. 65 and the C. V. tracks. 
75. 1927 That portion of the Tuckerman pasture which lies southwest of the 

B. & M. tracks, acquired from Walter D. Cowls with No. 69, 71, 

and 77. 
77. 1927 The Cook pasture, acquired from Walter D. Cowls along with No. 69, 

71, and 75. 
79. 1 93 1 The Bowker lots, acquired from Charles H. Bowker. 
81. 1 941 Acquired from the estate of Sidney D. White. 


93. 1894 A strip suitable for a roadway from Churchill Street extension to Col- 
lege Street, which has not been opened as a public road. 
95. 1868 Hallock Grove, acquired from Edward Hitchcock, Leavitt and Eliza- 
beth P. Hallock, to be maintained as a public park. 
Part of the Observatory lot, acquired from Fanny Stearns Davis. 
Snell Street Park, acquired from Arthur F. Stearns; restricted to park 

Addition to Observatory lot, acquired from Helen T. Magill. 
Mt. Doma Golf Course property, acquired from George A. Plimpton. 
Addition to Mt. Doma Golf Course, acquired from George A. Plimp- 
1890 Pratt Field, acquired from a number of individual property owners 
through Frederic B. Pratt. 

113. 1934 Corner of Kendrick Place and Northampton Road, given to the Col- 
lege by Charles W. Walker and F. T. Bedford as an adjunct to the 
Thcta Delta Chi grounds. 

115. 1 93 1 Corner Woodside Avenue and Orchard Street, given by F. B. Pratt. 

"7- 1 935 About an acre of land and storage shed purchased from the liquidation 
of the Hills Company. 

1 19. 1938 Foote land, bought from Arnold C. Foote to provide a source of loam. 

121. 1940 Burnett land, bought from George B. Burnett. 

123. 1945 Theta Delta Chi property acquired by gift of the fraternity and its 












125- 1945 Purchased from Cora F. DeRose, and converted for use by the Lord 

JefTery Amherst Club. 
127. 1946 Purchased from J. S. Pendleton. A portion was sold to the town in 

1 947, leaving about eight acres of undeveloped land useful principally 

as a source of loam. 

Residential and Other Non-Campus Property {Even Numbers^ 

2. 1898 Observatory House lot, acquired from Mary Stearns. 

4. 1930 The Cooper Homestead, 86 College Street, purchased from Alice 

Cooper Tuckerman. 
6. 1920 The Williams House, 12 Walnut Street, purchased from Ada and 

Jessie Lentell. 
8. 1 9 1 7 The Fisher House, 227 South Pleasant Street, purchased from Anna A. 
Fisher, wife of G. Edward Fisher. 

10. 1925 The Chapman House, 233 South Pleasant Street, purchased from the 
Chapman family through A. H. Dakin. 

12. 1 The Helen Hunt Jackson House, 249 South Pleasant Street and ad- 

14. J " joining lot, purchased from Robert P. Utter. 

16. 1925 Rideout House, 263 South Pleasant Street, purchased from Eliza G. 

18. 1925 The Edward Hitchcock House, 271 South Pleasant Street, purchased 
from M. B. Kingman, including land extending diagonally across 
Hitchcock Road as indicated by dotted lines. Part of this land was 
used for Hitchcock Road and part sold to Gilbert Hoag and Bailey 
Brown for residential use. Mrs. Kingman retains life use of the house. 

20. 1 91 7 Purchased from the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. The house was removed 
and Hitchcock Road runs through the middle of this plot. 

22. 1924 The Scott property, 297 South Pleasant Street. Extent of original plot 
indicated by dotted lines, part of which was sold to C. S. Porter and 
J. B. Fuller for residential purposes, and later repurchased. 

24. 1932 The Snell House, 317 South Pleasant Street, bought from Elliot Snell 

26. 1 928 A. B. Allen House, 395 South Pleasant Street, bought from A. B. Allen. 

28. 1928 Lincoln House, 405 South Pleasant Street, bought from Horatio 

30. 1925 Hallock House, 46 Snell Street, bought from George S. Allen. 

32. 1929 Kimball House, 155 Woodside Avenue, bought from Julia S. Kim- 

34- '937 The Rice House, 147 Woodside Avenue, purchased from Victor A. 

38- 1935 Originally part of the Scott and Kingman properties, this plot at 
42 Hitchcock Road was sold to C. S. Porter in 1929, and repurchased 
by the College in 1935. 

40- 1935 Originally part of the Scott place, this plot at 32 Hitchcock Road was 
sold to J. B. Fuller in 1930 and, with the house, repurchased from 
Mr. Fuller by the College in 1935. 

44. 1936 The Hoag House, 29 Hitchcock Road, repurchased from Gilbert T. 

46. 1907 President Olds House, 43 Hitchcock Road. In 1927 from a fund 
raised by alumni the house was built and presented to the College 
for the life use of President and Mrs. Olds. The land was originally 
acquired in 1907 from Catherine P. Kingman, extending to the rail- 
road tracks as indicated by dotted lines, and was the site of Pratt 
skating rink. Part of the land has been used for Hitchcock Road and 
parts sold to W. J. Newlin and C. S. Porter for residential purposes. 


1925 The Crowley House, 100 Woodside Avenue, bought from Jeremiah D. 

[925 The Wakefield House, 88 Woodside Avenue, bought from Charles E. 


1938 The Harris House, 72 Woodside Avenue, purchased from E. P. Harris. 
[934 Brown House, 87 Woodside Avenue, bought from the estate of E. M. 


[938 The GrofF House, 81 Woodside Avenue, purchased from U. G. Groff. 
[931 Land at 58 Woodside Avenue purchased from A. F. Johnson, to 

which the Boyden House was moved in 1937. 
[919 The Britt property, corner of Woodside Avenue and Walnut Street, 

bought from the Britt family through John W. Harlow. The house was 

torn down in 1933. 
igi6 Burnett House, 17 Walnut Street, purchased through John W. Har- 
[932 The Watts House, 33 Woodside Avenue, bought from William H. 


[936 The Collins House, 21 Woodside Avenue, purchased from The Am- 
herst Savings Bank. 
1 916 Bartlett House, 211 South Pleasant Street, bought from Daniel H. 

[914 Hamlin House, 205 South Pleasant Street, bought from the estate of 

Wolcott Hamlin through H. W. Kidder. 
[902 The Morse House, 197 South Pleasant Street, bought from Samuel 

[939 The Kidder House, 46 Orchard Street, purchased from Mary B. 

[938 The Loomis House, 40 Orchard Street, purchased from Mabel 

Loo mis. 
[936 The Heman Humphrey House, 22 Orchard Street, purchased from 

The Hampshire Company (E. M. Whitcomb). 
■937 The Bigelow House, 14 Orchard Street, purchased from W. P. Bige- 


1922 The Elliott House, 23 Orchard Street, bought from George D. Olds. 
1916 Lot at 85 Dana Street, purchased from S. L. Galpin, on which a house 

was built for a faculty residence. 
[916 Lot at 77 Dana Street, purchased from H. F. Hamilton, on which a 

house was built for a faculty residence. 
[916 Lot at 67 Dana Street, purchased from Ellis H. Rogers, on which a 

house was built for a faculty residence. 
'939 The Kings House, 41 Lincoln Avenue, given by Stanley and Mar- 
garet P. King. 
'937 The Phillips House, 97 Lincoln Avenue, purchased from Paul C. 

Phillips, through R. C. Williams. 
[938 The Frost House, 43 Sunset Avenue, purchased from Robert Frost, 

is about 200 yards north of the border of this map. 
I Blake Field containing about four acres acquired from E. P. Harris 

was subdivided in 1938 into four lots, two of which have been sold. 
1943 Montgomery House, 75 Woodside Avenue, purchased from W. E. 

'945 Bennett House, 36 Snell Street, purchased from Mabel M. Bennett. 

1946 Hunt House, 99 Northampton Road, purchased from E. V. Mac- 

1947 The Bangs property, 155 & 157 Lincoln Avenue, a lot of two houses 
purchased from H. D. and R. C. Bangs, is about 140 yards north of 
Amity Street. 


112. 1920 Acquired from Ada and Jessie Lentell, 217 South Pleasant Street, 

renamed "Noah Webster House" in 1939. 
114. 1947 Allis House, 61 Lincoln Avenue, purchased from P. Odegard. 

Contiguous Property not Owned, and Supposed Owners 

Mrs. M. Ruder 
A. H. Dakin 
R. A. Beebe 
W. M. Fisherdick 
M. J. Kennedy 

E. Porter Dickinson et al 
G. Atkinson 
Joseph Knihnicki 
Margaret Hurley and Julia Ro- 
Helen H. Devine et al 

F. K. Turgeon 

In March 1927 The Town of 
Amherst voted to "eliminate as a 
travelled roadway" Boltwood 
Avenue, south of College Street 
and "to relinquish" it, together 
with the portion of the common 
between College Street and main 
entrance to the College, for park 
purposes only. There was no 
conveyance to title nor easement 
actually carried out; legal opin- 
ion in 1938 is that the intended 
action is voided by lapse of time. 
In fact, the roadway is still used 
as a public highway, but the 
College has assumed care of that 
portion of the common, by in- 
formal arrangement. 


C. R. Elder — coal pocket. This 


property was originally acquired 


by the College together with plots 


1 7 and 65. In 1928 it was deeded to 


C. R. Elder in exchange for plot 


No. 73. 



Bailey LeF. Brown. This land was 


sold by the College to Mr. Brown 


about 1930, the College retaining 


a re-purchase option. 


W. J. Newlin. This land was sold 


by the College to Mr. Newlin about 


1930, the College retaining a re- 


purchase option. 


Walter M. Miller 


R. J. Montgomery 


C. H. Toll 


A. C. Plastridge 


H. W. Rauch 


Zion M. E. Church 




W. C. Johnson 


Harry J. Miner 


Harry J. Miner 


Phi Delta Theta 


R. R. Blair 


V. A. Osmun 


C. W. Eastman 


C. W. Eastman 


Mrs. W. L. Cowles 


Agnes M. Martin 


Mrs. H. T. Cowles 


Mrs. H. T. Cowles 


B. M. Ziegler 


R. H. Verbeck 


T. Grandonico 


Theta Xi 

In general, campus land horizontally cross-hatched is tax exempt. There are a few 
exceptions — namely, items No. 77, 79, 113, 123, and 125 — which are construed 
by the tax assessors as not being used for College purposes and which are taxed. 




.6,000,000 CU. FT.. 

3,000.000. CU FT. _. 

-4.00Q000 CU FT.. 

.3,000.000 CU FT 

.2.000,000 CUFT. 

.(,000.000 CU FT- 







; I o I - I iM I 



1924 TO 1946 




Excerpt from minutes of meeting of Board of Trustees held in Amherst on 
June 19, 1926: 

"Mr. King reported that at a meeting of the Joint Committee on Survey held 
this morning it recommended to the Board that there be transferred from the 
appropriation of $250,000 already made for maintenance of Plant $150,000 
to the Plant Account, it being the understanding of this Committee that sub- 
stantially $90,000 of this amount is to be used for an additional unit of the 
Central Heating Plant. 

"The following vote was thereupon passed: — 








at meetings of the Executive Committee of the Board of 
Trustees held on October 7, 1922, April 16, 1923, 
June 6, 1923, and January 10, 1925, resolutions were 
adopted recommending to the Board of Trustees that 
certain appropriations be made from the Centennial 
Gift for the uses of the College, 

at meetings of the Board of Trustees held on October 2 1 , 
1922, May 26, 1923, October 20, 1923, and April 4, 
1925, these recommendations of the Executive Com- 
mittee were adopted, 

at meetings of the Board of Trustees, held on April 5, 
1924, and April 4, 1925, certain appropriations were 
made from the Centennial Gift for the uses of the 

the Treasurer of the Centennial Gift has advised the 
Board of Trustees that on May 29, 1926, there had 
been received on account of the Centennial Gift 
$2,835,274.43, including a special gift of $25,000 for 
the purchase of Inn Company stock, in accordance 
with specific instructions from the donors, 
the Treasurer of the College has advised the Board of 
Trustees that on May 31, 1926, the expenses of the 
Centennial Gift and the Centennial Celebration 
amounted to $84,384.63, 

it is the wish of Mr. George D. Pratt that his gift of 
$75,000 toward the building of a central heating plant 
and his gift of $10,000 for ornamental gateways to 
Pratt Field be credited to the Centennial Gift, and it 
is the wish of Mr. Mortimer L. Schiff that his gift of 
$5,000 toward the building of a central heating plant 

be credited to the Centennial Gift, and it is the wish of 
Mr. Harold I. Pratt that his gift of 85,000 for an orna- 
mental gateway to Pratt Field be credited to the Cen- 
tennial Gift, 



Addition to endowment: 
Teachers' salaries 

Endowment of mainte- 
nance of plant 
Improvements to Physical 

Hitchcock Field 
Indoor Playing Field 
Central Heating 
To be expended 
Purchase White property 
made necessary by build- 
ing of cage 

Capital Improvements and 

Already expended 
(Detail in Schedule A) 
To be expended 
(Detail in Schedule B) 
Purchase of Inn Company 
stock; investment made in 
accordance with specific in- 
structions of donor 
Expenses of the Centennial 
Gift and the Centennial 


that the foregoing resolutions adopted by 
the Board of Trustees, and all other resolu- 
tions in so far as they concern appropria- 
tions from the Centennial Gift, be hereby 

further that the net amount of the Centen- 
nial Gift as of May 29, 1926, available for 
appropriation, amounting to $2,930,274.43, 
as shown by the attached statement, be 
appropriated as follows: 


100,000.00 $2,000,000.00 






326,289.97 820,889.80 



further that any further receipts on account 
of the Centennial Gift, less expenses of col- 
lection, be expended for capital improve- 


merits and repairs to the physical plant of 
the College. 
VOTED further that the Centennial Gift account 
be closed. 

Total subscriptions at close of gift 
Add special gift by Pratt family for purchase 
of Inn Company stock in accordance with 
specific instructions from donors 
Add special gift of George D. Pratt toward 
building of central heating plant 
Add special gift of Mortimer Schiff toward 
building of central heating plant 
Add special gift of George D. Pratt for orna- 
mental gateway to Pratt Field 
Add special gift of Harold I. Pratt for orna- 
mental gateway to Pratt Field 

Less cancellations 
Net subscriptions 

Receipts on account May 29, 1926 (including 
gift of $25,000 for Inn Company stock) 
Add George Pratt, Schiff and Harold I. Pratt 











Schedule A 


Capital Improvements and Repairs 

The main items are as follows: 




President's House 


Physics Laboratory 


Faculty Club 


College Hall 



Pratt Field 

*Fire Mains 


*Campus wires underground and other 

electrical work 




Pratt, North, and South dormitories 


Pratt Cottage 


Natatorium and Gymnasium 











* Work not yet completed 

Schedule B 

Capital Improvements and 


Appropriations not yet expended: 

*New Road 


*Grading at Morrow Hall 


Drive to Physics Laboratory 


**New gates Pratt Field 



Not yet allocated 



* Contracts let 
** Contracts authorized, to be let presently" 

(Work pending at the time of this meeting 
has since been completed.) 



(Italic figures indicate main reference to subject.) 

Abbott, Jacob, 15-19, 22, 23, 25, 45, 48 
Abbott, Lawrence F., 19, 121 
Abbott, Lyman, 19 
Academic policy — effect on building 

program, 299-301 
Adams, Charles Baker, 43, 50 
Adams, Herbert B., 107 
Adams, J. S. & C, 36 
Adams, Joseph Q,., 245-246 
Adams, Nehemiah, 44 
Aeolian Skinner Organ Co., 217 
Alden, Ebenezer, 69 
Allen, Albion B., 121 
Allen Bros., 129 

Allen, Charles H., 121, 141, 142, 165 
Allen & Collens, 90, 172 
Allen, Francis R., 90 
Allen & Kenway, 90, 94 
Allen, Nathan, 62, 69, 76 
Allen, Timothy F., 106 
Alhs, Frederick S., 147, 159, 162, 175, 

177, 225,234, 267 
Alumni Council, 145, 147, 159-163, 176, 

210-21 1, 224-226, 234, 285 
Alumni Fund, 147, 274-275 
Alumni Gymnasium, 233-237 
Alumni Hall, 58, 59, 60, 61, 119 
Alumni, Society of, 12, 146 
American Board of Commissioners for 

Foreign Missions, 187 
Ames, James T., 35, 38 
Amherst Day School {see Little Red 

Amherst Gas Co., 75 
Amherst Inn Co. {see Lord Jeffery Inn) 
Amherst Memorial Fellowships, 273 
Amherst Savings Bank, 150, 153, 155 
Amherst Student, 233-234 
Anderson, William C, 36 
Andrews, Charles A., 166, 259, 267 
Andrews, Jones, Biscoe & Wetmore, 156 
Appleton Cabinet (now Appleton Hall), 

5, 29, 45, 47-48, 61-62, 173, 175 
Appleton Hall (formerly Appleton Cabi- 
net), 48, 136, 175 

Appleton, Samuel, 47, 56 
Architects, summary of, 297-298 
Armstrong, Collin, 121 
Armstrong, Samuel T., 39-40 
Art Building, 161 
Art, Dept. of, 300 
Assembly building {see Union) 
Atwater, William C, 118, 131, 152 
Austin Organ Co., 134 
Avery, Joseph, 35 

Babbott, Frank L., 121, 177, 188, 228, 

281; room, 226-229 
Babbott, Frank L., Jr., 142, 197, 203, 236, 


Bagg, Aaron, 91 

Baker, Enos, 8; farm, 8, 196 

Baker's Hill (Mt. Doma), 7 

Baldwin, John C, 70 

Baldwin, Moses H., 70 

Bale, Frederick S., 267 

Barrett, Benjamin, 63, 65, 66 

Barrett, Edward Benjamin, 64, 66 

Barrett Gymnasium (now Barrett Hall), 
5, 37, 62-66, 75-76 

Barrett Hall (formerly Barrett Gym- 
nasium), 5, 6^-66, 129 

Barton, Bruce, 159, 235 

Bathelt Construction Co., 222-223, 231, 
247, 249 

Bathelt, Richard, 275 

Bathing facilities in grove, 24-25 

Beaumont, J. B., 60 

Bedford, Frederick T., 242-243 

Beecher, Henry Ward, 41, 61, 75 

Bell and bell tower, 14 

Bennett, Charles E., 199 

Beston, John, 95 

Bigelow, E. B., 35 

Bigelow, William P., 227 

Billings, Frederick, 96, 97, 137 

Billings, Parmly, 96, 97; professorship, 97 

Billings, Richard, 97, 137-138, 139 

Bingham, MilUcent Todd, 85, 293 

Binney, Horace, Jr., 64 


Biology-Geology (now Biology) Building, 

130-132, 263, 264, 278, 280 
Biology, Dept. of, 263, 264 
Biscoe, Maurice B., 156, 157 
Biscoe, Walter S., 139 
Bishop, James T., 131 
Blake Field, 85, 122 
Blake, Lucien Ira, 85 
Blossom, Harold H., 180 
Bock, Arlie, 241 

Boltwood House {see Hitchcock Hall) 
Boltwood, Lucius, 22, 24, 27, 71, 72, 103; 

property, 5. 25, 71, 72, 102-103, 107, 

Bond, Thomas, 35, 36 
Booz, Allen & Hamilton, 285 
Boring & Tilton, 129 
Bowles, Samuel, 72 
Boyden, Frank L., 260 
Boyden house, 104, 245 
Bramhall, Deane Co., 175 
Brayton, John L., 106 
Bray ton, John S., 1 1 1 
Breed, William C, 159, 165, 176, 235 
Bridges, Gordon B., 260, 261, 263, 286- 

Bridgman, Herbert L., 106, 152 
Brooks, Edward Bramhall, 1 75 
Brown, Stephen, 241 
Brown, W. R., 199 
Buildings: investment in, 2-4; removal of, 

4, 5; summary, 147, 301-305 
Buildings and Grounds, Dept. of, survey, 

Bullock, Alexander, 62-63, 82 
Burgess, John W., 103, 106 
Burnell, Edward J., 285 
Burnham, Daniel H., 123, 125 
Bumham, John Appleton, 91 
Burnham, Michael, 100 
Business administration, 143-145 
Business conditions, 30, 59-60, 63, 81-82, 

109, III, 126, 131, 162, 185, 205, 234 

Cadigan, Charles H., 256 

Cadigan, George L., 260 

Cafeteria in Morrow, 175-176, 225, 239, 
240, 262 

Cage (Indoor Playing Field), 167, lyo- 
lys; home of flood refugees, 239, 240 

Caldwell, Louis G., 181 

Calhoun, William B., 39, 44 

Campus: first, 7, 194, 195; west, 25, 26- 
27, 195; east, 98, 195; size, 2, 195; care 
and improvement of grounds and walks, 
14, 24-25, 26, 27, 34, 54, 55, 112, 205; 


model, 205-206. See also Ground 

Canfield, F. Curtis, 244, 275 
Canfield, Mrs. F. Curtis, 246 
Capen, S. B., 106 
Carew, Joseph, 64 
Carnegie, Andrew, 130, 131 
Carrere and Hastings, 150 
Cartotto, Ercole, 228 
Gary, Frank, 193 
Gary, Otis, '72, 193 
Gary, Otis, '43, 193 
Centennial Celebration, 162-163; Gift, 

145, 159-163. 166-167, 178-179 
Central Heating Plant, 127, lyz-ij^; 

change from conduits to tunnels, 248- 


Charter, 15 

Chemistry building, 58, 86, 97, 98 

Chemistry, Dept. of, 299-300 

Chiba, Tsunegoro, 1 91-192 

Chickering, William H., 121 

Chimes in Steams Church steeple, 79-80, 

Chip day, 14 

Choate, Rufus, 44, 45 

Christian Association, 187, 218 

Church, 54-55 

Churchill, George B., 166 

Civil War Memorial, 79-80 

Clapp, D. P., 121 

Clapp, R. Sheldon, 240 

Clark, Alden H., 187, 188, 192 

Clark, Jefferson, 106 

Clark, William S., 47, 59, 60, 63, 143 

Class of: 1831, 146; 1836, 146; 1839, 146; 
1859, 146; 1880, 230; 1882, 131; 1883, 
126, 147; 1884, 118, 119, 147; 1885, 
131; 1893, 122-125, 147; 1896, 125- 
126, 147; 1897, 131; 1901, 131 

Classrooms, 54, 55, 133, 175, 285, 303 

Clench, William, 43 

Cobb, E. Scribner, 188 

Cole, Charles W., 256, 268, 278-279, 280, 

Cole, Mrs. Charles W., 246 

Collections, 42-43, 86 

College architect, 222, 223-224 

College Church {see Stearns Church) 

College Grove, 24-25, 112, 138, 253- 

College Hall, 25, 26, 33, 67-68, 76, 118- 

120, 167, 172, 244 
College Row, 5, 6, 17, 18, 23, 24, 32-33. 

46, 126, 285 
College WeU, 10 

Commission on Fine Arts, 122-125, 126, 

141, 142 
Commons, 132, 133, 161 
Congregational churches, 45 
"Consecrated Eminence," 14 
Converse, Edmund C, 140-141, 143 
Converse, James B., 140, 141 
Converse Memorial Library, 5, 102, ijg- 

143, 229, 265; addition, 243-244; 

future expansion, 244; war memorial, 

Coolidge, Calvin, 164, 305; library, 158 
Cowles, Rufus, 8 
Cowles, William L., 156 
Cowls (Walter) property, 200-203 
Cox, Allen, 153, 154, 157, 177, 180, 189, 

Cram, Ralph Adams, 222 
Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, 134 
Cricket ground and ball field, 63 
Crossett, Edward C, 131 
Curriculum, 299-301; new, 278 
Currier, Edward West, 132 
Cushing, Caleb, 45 
Cushing, Christopher, 79 
Cushing, Harry A., 177 
Cutler, Robert, 36, 38 

Dakin, Arthur Hazard, 65, 118-119, 121, 

i30> 131. 152, 198 

Damon, Isaac, 21-22 

Davenport, Arthur, 157, 268, 270 

Davenport, John, i, 97-98, 220 

Davenport Squash Courts, i, 98, 210, 

Davison, Alvah E., 275 

Day, John E., 121 

Day, R. L., 121 

Deady, John, 106 

Delta Upsilon {see also Fraternities), 

Denio, F. Winchester, 218 

Dewey, Melvil, 139 

DeWitt, Alexander, 35 

Dickinson, Edward, 8, 13, 30, 36, 59, 64, 
73, 74, 82, 115 

Dickinson, Elijah, 7, 194-195 

Dickinson, Enos, 35, 48, 64; Nineveh Gal- 
lery, 48 

Dickinson family, 194, ig8 

Dickinson, John, 35 

Dickinson, Marquis F., 122 

Dickinson, Samuel Fowler, 8 

Dickinson Street, 204 

Dickinson, William, 36 

Dickinson, William Austin, 27, 73, 75, 79, 

82, 98, 107, 112-113, 114, 169, 195, 


Dining facilities and related problems 
{see also Cafeteria, Commons, Hitch- 
cock Hall, and Valentine Hall), 210- 
211, 224-226, 256-257 

Donald, E. Winchester, 121, 132 

Doshisha University, 186-igo; Amherst 
House, 188-190; James, Plimpton, and 
King buildings, 188 

Doughty, Howard W., 183, 184 

Duffey, Edwin, 215-216 

Duffey, Mrs. Edwin, 215, 216 

Dyer, Walter A., 255, 265 

East College, 4-5, fj8-62, 78, 94, 96 

Eastman, Lucius R., 159, 188, 209, 213, 
221, 222, 235, 266 

Edwards, Alfred, 36 

Edwards, Bela Bates, 13, 44, 47, 146; 
quoted, 45-46 

Edwards, Henry, 44, 59, 62, 64, 69, 82 

Elder, Cady R., 174-175, 177, 198 

Electricity for lighting, 1 1 2 

Elliott, Hugh, 125 

Ely, Justin, 35 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 16, 51 

English, Arthur R., 233, 237 

Enrollment, early, 29; New England col- 
leges in 1824, 24; postwar, 280 

Estabrook, Joseph, 12 

Esty, Edward T., 164, 165, 166, 176, 222 

Esty, Robert P., 165 

Esty, Thomas C, 123, 126, 165 

Esty, William Cole, 86, 164-165 

Evans, William D., 140 

Everett, Edward, 45 

Faculty Club, 194, 198, 265-266; Penta- 
gon, 17 

Faculty houses, 3, 195, 197-200, 203, 204, 
252, 280 

Faculty offices, 248, 303 

Faculty, rooms for faculty meetings, 226- 
227, 228 

Fairbanks, Joseph W., 113, 118, 122 

Fales, Frederick S., 178, 218, 234, 235, 

Farrell, Maurice L., 156 

Fayerweather, Daniel, 106-107; bequest, 
97. 107 

Fayerweather Laboratory, 106-iog, 172 

Fence, 26 

Fenner, Burt L., 153, 172 

Field, Henry P., 122 

Finance Committee's Report of 1924, 179 


Finances of College, 29, 144, 159, 163 
Fires: college, 4; fraternities, 150; town, 


First building given by alumnus, 95 

First Congregational Church, 14, 26, 45, 

First ground plan of college, 6, 17-18 

Fitch, Albert Parker, 166, 172 

Fitch, Clyde, 142; fund, 142, 244; room, 

Fitch, Mrs. William G., 142 

Fletcher, Robert S., 139 

Fletcher, William I., 139 

Flood, 238-241 

Flynt, William N., 72-73, 79, 88 

Foster, Nellis B., 241 

Fowler, Orson S., 41-42 

Fowler, William C, 28 

Fraternities, 3, 7^7-/55 (see also Appen- 
dix); Business Management, 157, 268- 
270, 285; dining facilities, 225, 226, 
261, 262; hurricane, 252; World War 
II, 268-270 

French, Hollis, 1 73 

French, Reginald F., 265 

Frost, Robert, 212 

Fuess, Claude M., 159, 275 

Funnell, George B., 256 

Gail, G. P. L., 142 

Garage, 186 

Garman, Charles E., 11 7-1 18 

Gas lighting, town and college, 75-76 

Gates, Merrill E., loi, 102, 104, 107, 

113-114, 115, 117, 118, 122, 293 
Genung,JohnF., 119, 121, 138; property, 

Geology-Biology {see Biology-Geology) 

Geology, Dept. of, 5, 263, 264 
Gettell, Raymond G., 166 
Gibbs, Edward N., 113 
Gibney, Sheridan deR., 246 
Gilbert, George H., 35 
Gill, George, 35, 38 

Gillett, Arthur L., 68, 135, 141, 165, 166 
Gillett, Edward Bates, 67-68, 72, 79, 106 
Gillett, Frederick H., 68 
G.I. Village, 277-278 
Godfrey, William B., 36 
Goodnow, Frank J., 106, 121, 131 
Grant from Commonwealth, 39, 63 
Graves Professorship, 39 
Graves, Rufus, 8, 20 
Gray, James E., Co., 169 
Greene, Theodore A., 189 


Gregory, Richard H., 178 

Grosvenor, Edwin A., 248; house, 248 

Grosvenor, Gilbert H., 248 

Ground plans for future building, 6, 1 7- 

18, 205-206. See also Commission on 

Fine Arts 
Grover, W. O., 91 
Guild, George, 24 
Gymnasium, 86, 167, 171; in grove, 25 

Hagen, Winston H., 121 

Hall, George Atwater, 142 

Hall, John Whitney, 192-193 

Halligan, Howard A., 225 

Hallock, Gerard, 36 

Hallock Grove, 122, 196, 252 

Hallock, Leavitt, 196 

Hammond, John C, 122 

Hammond, Thomas J., 152 

Hardy, Alpheus, 59, 67, 69, 72, 73, 75, 

79, 80, 82, 186-187 
Harper & Brothers, 45 
Harriman, Frank H., 121 
Harris, Elijah P., 85 
Harris, George, 65, 66, loi, 113, 115, 

119, 121, 126, 127, 132, 133, 135, 136, 

i73» 196, 294 
Harvard University, 6, 12, 31, 34, 103- 

104, III 
Hatheway, Curtis R., 106 
Hathorne, George, 72 
Haven, Joseph, 46 
Hawley, Fred H., 178 
Heating, 22-23, 98, "2, 173 
Heidrich, Robert H., 286, 287 
Herrick, Dwdght S., 105, 131 
Hills, Leonard M., 36 
Hitchcock, Charles Heiuy, 40 
Hitchcock, Edward, Sr., 7, 16, 17, 27, 32- 

35> 36, 37> 38, 4o-43» 4^, 47. 48-50. 5i. 

52-54. 55. 60, 66-67, 74. 84. 93. loi. 

149, 291-292; quoted, 21, 33-34. 38, 

40, 49, 61-62, 63-64 
Hitchcock, Edward, '49, 4, 43, 53, 84, 85, 

91. 92-93. 96, 97. 98, 100, 104, no, 

III, 113, 114, 118, 126, 128, 135, 136- 

137, 149, 150, 169, 229; quoted, 25, 

29-30. 49-51. 53, 80-81, 103, 128, 149, 

Hitchcock Field, 136-137, 161, 167, i6g 
Hitchcock Hall (formerly Boltwood 

House), 5, 102-105, 132, 141 
Hitchcock Memorial Room, 19, 22, 44, 

45, 104, X05, 108-109, 229-233, 253, 

Hitchcock Road, 130, 203, 204 

Hitchcock, Roswell Dwight, 73, 106, 107 

Hitchcock, Samuel A., 35, 39, 69, 70; 
professorship, 38-39 

Holyoke Valve & Hydrant Co., 174 

Horton & Hemenway, 131, 134 

Houghton, Charles M., 105 

Houghton house, 154 

House plan, 257 

Houses, acquisition of, for faculty and ad- 
ministration, 196-197 

Housing problem (undergraduates), 34, 
86, 133, 134, 151, C256-257, 276, 280, 

Howe, George, 79-80 

Howe, Sidney Walker, 80 

Howland, Richard M., 256 

Howland, Warren S., 13, 28 

Hubbard, Allen, 173 

Humphrey, Heman, 10, 15, 21, 28, 29- 

30> 53. 74> 146 
Huntington, Frederick Dan, 44 
Hurricane, 249-255 
Hyde, Henry D., 87, 98, 105, 107, 122 

Infirmary, 5, 242-243 
Insurance, 20-21, 22-23, S^j 86-87, 89, 

Jackson, Edwin E., 131 

James, Arthur Curtiss, 65, 102, 121, 133- 

i34> 135. I4i> 142, I59> 161, 165, 177, 

188, 189, 235, 276 
James, D. Willis, 98, loi, 102, 103, 105, 

107, 114, 118, 120, 131, 133, 134, 276 
James, Mrs. D. Willis, 120 
James Foundation of N.Y., Inc., 285 
James Hall, 134, 2J6-277, 280 
Jermain, James B., 91 
Jewett, George B., 45, 46-47 
Johnson, Adam, i, 19, 21, 22 
Johnson Chapel, i, 5, 6, 19-23, 33, 54, 

55. 74. 75> "2, 126, 135-136, 167, 172, 

210, 213-220 
Johnson, Herbert G., 270, 287 
Johnson, Hiram, 13 
Jones, McDuffee & Stratton, 260 
Jones, Thomas, 36 
Jordan, Lloyd P., 239, 240, 254, 270 

Kabayama, Ayske, 1 90-1 91 

Kellaway, Herbert J., 136, 169, 183, 198, 

203, 229 
Kellogg, Rufus B., 146 
Kellogg, William, 36 
Kelsey, Charles E., 121, 131 
Kclsey, Henry H., 134, 136 

Kemmerer, John L., 123 

Kendall, Henry P., 155, 156 

Kendall, William M., 125, 141-142 

Kennedy, Mrs. Alice, 170 

Kennedy, Gilbert F., 123 

Kennedy, Michael J., 237 

Keyes, Homer Eaton, 160, 169 

Kidder, Harry W., 131, 142, 144, 160, 

169-170, 197 
Kimball, Arthur L., 107, 114 
King, Gertrude, 247 
King, Henry A., 211, 212; library, 211- 

212; Mr. and Mrs. Henry A., 188 
King (Margaret) Fund, 226 
King, Richard, 2 1 1 
King, Stanley, 155, 156, 159, 160, 164, 

165-166, 168-169, 177, 178, 180, 181, 

186, 188, 189, 197, 211, 235, 294-295 
King, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, 217, 218, 

King, Mrs. Stanley, 211, 212, 219, 226, 

247, 260, 288-296 
Kings house, 279 
Kingman house, 42, 198 
Kinsolving, Arthur L., 216 
Kirby, Ellwood R., 245 
Kirby Memorial Theater, 104, 244-246 

Ladd, William S., 260 

Lake, 204-205 

Lake, David Henry, 121 

Lawrence, Abbott, 35, 36-37, 40 

Lawrence Observatory {see Octagon) 

Lawrence, Samuel, 35, 37 

Lay, Edward P., 158; library, 158 

Lay, Frank M., 158 

Leland House, 265 

Leland, John, 20, 21-22, 23-24, 27, 28, 
30, 36 

Leland, J. D., 157 

Lentell house, 265 

Lessey, Chauncey W., 72 

Lewis, Frank D., 106 

Ley, Fred T., & Co., 186 

Library, 74, 75 

Lighting, campus, 112, 205 (for build- 
ings, see Gas and Electricity) 

Lilly, Alonzo, 70 

Lines, H. Wales, Co., 155, 156 

Little & Brown, 45 

"Little chapel," 218 

Little Red Schoolhouse, 246-247 

Lobdell, Henry, 48 

Lockwood, Greene & Co., 248, 287 

Long, John C, 177 

Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 45 


Look, Frank N., 113 

Loomis, Frederic B., 154 

Lord Jeffery Amherst Club, 3, 129, 257, 

261, 262-263, 2y8 
Lord Jeffery Inn, 117, iy6-iy8, 265, 270 
Low, Carroll B., 225, 267, 275, 287 
Lowell-Whipple Co., 174, 178 
Lyman, Albert J., 121 
Lyon, Horatio, 45 

Mack, David, 27, 37, 38 

MacMeekin, James, 245 

MacMeekin, Richard, 244-245, 256 

Mahoney, James, 118 

Manthey-Zom, Otto, 199 

Manwell, Edward J., 241 

Marsh, Allison W., 237 

Massachusetts, Commonwealth of, grant, 

Mather, Richard H., 56, 87, 88, 90, 130, 
300; art collection, 119, 300 

Maynard, Robert W., 181, 209, 213, 221, 
222, 237, 242, 243, 249, 252, 259, 264, 

Mayo-Smith, Richmond, '75, 11 

Mayo-Smith, Richmond, '09, 11, 234, 
235> 267, 277, 280 

Mayo-Smith, Richmond, Jr., '44, 1 1 

Mayo-Smith, Worthington, '49, 1 1 

McCandless, S. R., 245 

McCloy, John J., 275 

McGoun, Ralph C, 246 

McGraw, Thomas H., 87, loi 

McKeon, Newton F., Jr., 256 

McKim, Charles F., 89, 107-108, 123, 
124, 125 

McKim, Mead & White, 107-108, 121, 
124, 131, 132, 141, 142, 153, 155, 170, 
172, i74> 175, 178, 183, 184, 186, 197, 
205-206, 217, 221, 224, 237 

Mead Art Building, 5, 264-265, 276, 278, 

Mead, William R., 105, 107-108, 119, 
120, 121, 122-124, 125, 126, 131, 139, 
140, 142, 143, 155, 156, 182, 183, 184, 
185, 205, 221, 264, 280-283; professor- 
ship, 281 

Mead, Mr. and Mrs. William R., 280- 

Meiklejohn, Alexander, 135, 136, 139, 
i43> i44» 167, 197, 294 

Memorabilia Collection {see also Hitch- 
cock Memorial Room), 229 

Memorial Field {see War Memorial) 

Memorial Hall, 75 

Meredith, Burgess, 246 


Merriam, George, 44, 45, 64 

Merrill, Charles E., 285 

Merrill, Oliver B., 152 

Middle College {see also North College), 

6, 24, 33 
Milliken, Arthur N., 142, 230-232, 243 
Montague house, 259 
Moore Laboratory of Chemistry, 181-186 
Moore, William H., 1 81-182 
Moore, Mrs. William H., 181, 182, 183, 

184, 185 
Moore, Zephaniah Swift, 10, 11, 12, 14- 

15, 29 
Morgan, Charles Hill, H, 91, 264, 265, 

280, 300 
Morgan Hall {see also Morgan Library), 

25> 229, 231, 265, 283 
Morgan, Henry T., 91; bequest, 89, 91, 

(Morgan) Library {see also Morgan Hall) , 

43-47, 75, 76, 86, 89-gi, 133 
Morgan, Vincent, gi 
Morris Building Co., 129 
Morrow Dormitory, ij^-iy6, 212, 217, 

251, 271, 272, 278; cafeteria, 175-176, 

225, 239, 240, 262 
Morrow, Dwight W., 129, 139-140, 141, 

142, 159, 161, 162, 165, 166, 168-169, 

172, 180-181, 197; trust fund, 216- 

Morrow, Mr. and Mrs. Dwight W., 175 
Morrow, Mrs. Dwight W., 212, 216, 217 
Morrow, Dwight W., Jr., 245 
Morse, Anson D., 140, 156; professorship, 

Moseley, Harold W., 188 
Moses, Lionel, 155, 157, 197 
Mount Doma, 7, 8, 176 
Music: building, 161; Dept. of, 48, 227 
Myers, R. R., 63 

Needs of the College, 54, 85-86, 127, 133, 

161, 166, 167, 303 
Neesima, Joseph Hardy, 1 86 
Nelson, Frank G., 266 
Nichols, Mr. and Mrs. Burton D., 188, 

Nichols, Stewart B., 188 
Nineveh tablets, 48, 90, 284 
Norcross Bros., 108 
North College 5, 6, 13-14, 23, 33, 98, 112, 

271-273, 285; library, 21 1-2 12 
Northampton, as possible site for college, 

Norton, Charles D., 122, 123, 125 
Noyes, Henry T., 147 

Observatory, 120-122, 172; house, 120, 

Octagon, 33, 34-43, 48, 172, 227, 228- 

229; hill, 26, 229 
"Old" North College, 4, 6, 20, 23-24; fire, 

56-57> 58 
Olds, Gamaliel S., 12, 16 
Olds, George D., 107, 113, 114, 140, 162, 

167-168, 179-180, 293; library of 

mathematics, 212, 285 
Olds, Mrs. George D., 212 
Olds, George D., Gymnasium, 234 
Olmsted, Denison, 28-29 
Olmsted, Frederick Law, Sr., 72, 95, 

107, 124 
Olmsted, Frederick Law, Jr., 72, 123, 

124, 125, 142, 254 
Orr Committee for Alumni Gymnasium, 

234. 235> 236 
Orr, Walter S., 225, 234, 235, 236, 237, 

Osborn & Barnes, 275 
Osborn, H. Sanford, 275 
Osgood, Robert B., 241 

Paddock, W. D., 137, 138 

Palmer, Walter W., 241, 242 

Parallel Course, 17, 19 

Park, Edwards A., 44, 47 

Parkes, Charles E., 60, 63 

Parkman, Francis, 45 

Parsons, Davdd, lo-i i, 25, 26; house, 122 

Patton, Cornelius H., 165, 166, 188, 266 

Peabody, Robert Swain, 89 

Peabody & Stearns, 88, 94 

Pease, Arthur Stanley, 180, 186, 294 

Peckham, William C, 92 

Pentagon (Faculty Club), 17 

Perkins, C. Kingman, 234, 235 

Perkins, Jonathan C, 43-44 

Perry, Shaw & Hepburn, 205-207, 223, 

Phelps, Dodge & Co., 35 
Phi Alpha Psi {see also Fraternities), 84 
Phi Beta Kappa Society, 135 
Phi Delta Theta {see also Fraternities), 

154, 197, 294; scholarship, 154 
Phi Gamma Delta {see also Fraternities), 


Phillips, Paul C, 66, 242 

Physical Education: Amherst first in es- 
tablishing Dept. of, 66; Pres. Stearns' 
inaugural, 62; summary, 128, 1 70-1 71, 
300-301, 303 

Physics, Dept. of, 299-300 

Pierce, George E., 259 

Pinney, E. J., Co., 259 

Plant, investment in, 2-3, 30, 302; main- 
tenance and development of, 112, 143, 
159, 160, 161, 167, 169-170, 179, 280, 

Piatt, Charles, 205 

Plimpton, Francis T. P., 91 

Plimpton, George A., 4, 85, loi, 102, 
103, 105, 116-117, 118, 120, 121, 122, 
127, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135, 139, 141, 
144. 155. 156, i59» 165, 176, 177, 181, 
i8q, 183, 184, 185, 188, 190, 209, 219- 
220, 225, 234, 235, 278; collection, 177 

Plough, Harold H., 256, 275 

Ponsonby, Richard H., 72 

Porter, Andrew W., 35, 36, 37-38, 64 

Porter, C. Scott, 256, 303 

Potter, William Appleton, 78-79 

Pratt brothers, 109, 111-112, 128, 178- 
179, 206, 236 

Pratt, Charles, 85, 92, 93, 96 

Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. Charles, 1 1 1 

Pratt, Charles M., 65, 91, 92, 93-96, 99, 
102, III, 112, 118, 120, 121, 124-125, 
127, i30» 131. 134. 144. 164, 237 

Pratt, Mr. and Mrs. Charles M., 134-135 

Pratt, Mrs. Charles M., 211, 212-213, 

Pratt Field, g8-ioo, 171, 172, 178, 203, 

Pratt, Frederic B., 98-100, in, 112, 129, 

166, 237; fund, 100 
Pratt, George D., 109-110, in, 112, 123, 

125, 156, 164, 165-166, 171, 174, 177, 

178, 181, 183, 184, 185, 186, 205-207, 

209, 213, 218, 219, 221, 222, 224 

Pratt Gymnasium {see also Pratt Mu- 
seum), 5, 91-97, 127-128, 161, 170, 
171, 263, 264; home of flood refugees, 
239-240; of Amherst Day School, 246 

Pratt, Harold L, 126-128, 159, 235-236, 

Pratt, Harold L, Natatorium, 5, 126-129, 

Pratt, Harold L, Swimming Pool (pres- 
ent), 236-237 
Pratt Health Cottage, 5, 109-111, 171, 

241-242, 243 
Pratt, Herbert L., 109-1 10, 1 1 i-i I2, 159, 

161, 178, 189, 235, 236, 237, 283-284 
Pratt, John T., 109-110, in, 112 
Pratt, Morris, 134, 135 
Pratt (Morris) Memorial Dormitory, 

134-135, 271, 272; library, 212-213 
Pratt Museum of Geology {see also Pratt 

Gymnasium), 5, 96, 264, 278, 280 


Pratt, Richardson, 134, 212, 234, 237, 

Prentice, E. Parmalee, 106, 131 
Prentiss, W. D., 106 
Prescott, William H., 45 
President, as chairman of Board, 1 15-1 16 
President's house (first), 5, 6, 13, 27, 28, 

288-289, 290 
President's house (second), 5, 6, 23, 25, 

27-28, 33-34, 102, 105, 122, 172, 289- 

296; as Mrs. Steams' school, 84-85; 

barn, 122 
President's office, 49, 218, 219 
Professors in building program, 45, 93 
Psi Upsilon {see also Fraternities) , 1 3 
PubHc Relations, 285; Ives Washburn's 

gift to, 1 1 
Purdy, W. Frank, 137, 138 
Putnam & Cox, 153, 177, 180, 189 
Putnam & Stewart, 157 

Quincy, Josiah, Jr., 45 

Ranger, Mr. and Mrs. Casper, 2 1 7 
Ranger, Casper, Construction Co., 153, 

172, 175, 180, 183, 184, 186, 217 
Rappoh, Edmund J., Co., Inc., 264, 277, 

280, 283, 284 
Raymond, Charles B., 142 
Redfield, WiUiam C, 39 
Reed, William, 96, 97 
Reilley, W. J., 122 
Rich, Charles A., 135 
Richardson, Henry B., 121 
Rink House, 203 
Roberts, E. L., 94-95 
Robertson, Peter, 169, 170 
Rogers, Charles E., 246 
Rotherwas Room, 283-284 
Rounds, Arthur C, 164 
Rugg, Arthur P., 121, 165, 213, 214, 


Safford, Daniel, 35 

St. Gaudens, Augustus, 123-124, 125 

Salary Fund of 191 1, 133 

Salmon, E. Dwight, 256 

Sanford, Elliot, 106 

Sanford, John, 36 

Sanford, John E., 87-88, 105, iii, 115- 

116, 121 
Sayles, Frederick C, 131 
Scandrett, Richard B., 225, 244 
Scarborough, W. W., 91, 96 
SchifT, Mortimer L., 120, 127-129, 131, 

174, 176, 177, 189 


Sears, David, 34, 43, 45, 75, 90, 91; foun- 
dation, 39, 43 

Seelye, Julius H., 33, 53-54, 64, 75, 84, 
85-87, 93, 94-95, 96, 97, 98, loo-ioi, 
106, 107, 114, 135, 146, 292; fund, 102 

Seelye, L. Clark, 75 

Semicentennial, 146 

Seminar rooms, 142 

Service Building, 186 

Shepard, Charles Upham, 13, 34, 35, 36, 

39, 43, 50-51, 74, 86 
Sherwood, C. H., 157 
Shoals, George P., 48, 60 
Shurchff, Arthur A., 205, 226, 254, 264, 

274, 287 
Silliman, Benjamin, 39 
Simonds, Edward F., 142 
Simpson, John W., 131, 135, 140, 156, 

Site for college, 6, 7, 8 
Skating Rink, 130 
Smith, Fred M., 131 
Smith, Frederick Pitkin, 162 
Smith, Henry Preserved, 113, 121, 122, 


Smith, Henry W., 106 

Smith, James, 69, 70, 

Smith, James Kellum, 172, 183, 213, 217, 
221, 222, 223-224, 225, 229-230, 237, 
242, 244, 245, 247, 254, 258, 264, 265, 
274, 277, 280, 282, 284, 287 

Smith, Nathaniel, 8, 20 

Smith, Winthrop, 106 

Snell, Ebenezer S., 12-13, 17, 19, 43, 73, 

South College, 5, 6-14, 23, 33, 98, 112, 
271-273, 285; library, 212 

South Pleasant Street property, 1 98 

Southworth, Edward, 64 

Southworth, John H., 97 

Southworth, Wells, 35 

Spafford, Joseph H., 118, 119, 131 

Sparks, Jared, 45 

Spear, Asa A., 106, 121 

Spring Street (No. 37), 265 

Squash Courts (Schiff), 127-129, 264. Re- 
placed by Davenport Squash Courts. 

Stearns, Alfred E., 85, 100, 160, 181, 215, 
235, 260, 265, 276, 290 

Stearns Church, 5, 76-82, 133, 134, 136, 
161, 167, 172, 213-215, 219-220, 265, 
277, 281, 283; spire, 283, 284 

Stearns, Frank W., 131, 143, 144, 154, 
165, 166, 169 

Stearns, Frazar A., 80 

Stearns Hall, 276-277, 280 

Stearns, John G., 89 

Stearns, R. H., 105 

Stearns, William A., 2, 47, 52-53, 54-56, 

57-59, 61, 62, 63, 67, 69-70, 73-74, 77, 

79, 80, 82-83, 114, 276 
Stearns, William F., 76-77, 276 
Stearns, Mrs. William F., 84-85, 102, 292 
Stimson Fund, 74 
Stone, John T., 165 
Stone, Samuel, 35 
Stone, William W., 35, 37 
Storrs, Richard Salter, 75, loi 
Story, OHver H., 123 
Strong, Alexander, 129-130 
Strong, Edward Alexander, 65, 106, 120, 

129-130; property, 65, 129, 278 
Strong, Hezekiah Wright, 8 
Strong, Lewis, 20 

Student Council, 233-234, 250-251 
Sullivan, Cornelius J., 100, 155, 156 
Sullivan, Mrs. Cornelius J., 155 
Sumner, Charles, 45 
Sweetser, John H., 121 
Sweetser, Luke, 27, 28, 35, 36, 38, 48, 59, 

Sykes, Henry A., 29, 35, 38, 41, 46, 47, 48 
Symington, WilHam S., 121 

Tappan, John, 35, 36, 43, 44, 45 

Taxation, 122 

Tenney & Ohmes, 174, 183 

Terry, Charles A., 166 

Thacher, Henry B., 163, 170, 186, 199, 

239, 250-251, 286, 287 
Thaw, M. C, 121 
Theater, 161 
Thomas, Samuel, 105 
Thompson, Frederic L., 156, 242 
Tillson, Charles S., 170 
Todd, David P., 85, 86, 93, 1 20, 1 2 1 , 1 22, 

Town Common, 112, 195, 204, 246 

Treadway, L. C, 175, i77» 178, 259, 260 

Treasurer's office, 98, 285 

Triumvirate, 1 1 3 

Trustees, Board of, alumni as mem- 
bers, 146; minutes, 86; office of chair- 
man, 1 15, 116 

Tubby, W. B., 109 

Tuckerman house, 1 72 

Turgeon, Mrs. F. King, 246 

Turner, James, 121, 142, 177, 212, 230, 
231, 247; family, 247; library, 212 

Turner, Ruth D., 43 

Tuttle, Morton C, 160, 163 

Tyler, C. Boardman, 234 

Tyler, E. W., 106 

Tyler, John M., 133, 152, 162 

Tyler, Mason W., 105, 107, 120, 133, 134, 

Tyler, William S., '30, 2, 8, 45, 57, 63, 

70, 84, 86-87, 93, 113, 133, 152; 

quoted, 9-10, 27, 47, 64, 74, 78, 79, 86 
Tyler, William S., '95, 152, 153 

Undergraduates, care and development 
of grounds, 14, 24-26; as sub- 
scribers to fund campaigns, 136, 162, 

234> 237 
Union Building, 127, 132, 133 

Vaill, Joseph, 30, 44, 59, 61, 70, 73, 76 
Valentine Hall, 257-26J, 270 
Valentine, Samuel H., 253; fund, 253 
Valentine, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel H., 257- 

Van Dusen, Henry Pitney, 275 
Vaux, Calvert, 72 
Vaux and Olmsted, 78 
Via Morrow, 172, 204, 205 

Walker, Francis Amasa, 87, 88 

Walker Hall, 4, 69-74, 76, 90, 98, 212, 

278, 284-285; fire, 86; rebuilt, 87-89 
Walker, Joseph, 35 
Walker, Roberts, 126, 147 
Walker, William J., 68-71, 72; fund, 68, 

69, 89; professorship, 69 
Walker, Williston, 135, 164 
War Memorial and Memorial Field, 273- 

275. See also Civil War Memorial. 
Warner, Aaron, 36 
Warner Bros. & Goodwin, 254 
Warren, S. D., 64 
Washburn, Frederic A., 242 
Washburn, Ichabod, 35 
Washburn, Ives, 1 1 
Washburn, John H., 11 
Washburn, William Ives, 1 1 
Waters, Richard P., 35, 44 
Watters, Clarence, 217 
Waugh, Sidney, 284 
Weathers, Paul D., 178, 267-268, 270, 

Webster, Noah, 8, 10, 11, 16; quoted, 7 
Webster, Noah, House, 265 
Webster, Noah, statue, 137-138, 254-255 
Weinman, Adolph A., 125, 142 
Wheeler, H. Herbert, 157 
Wheeler, Willard H., 131 
Whicher, George F., 228 
Whipple, Oliver M., 35 


Whitcomb, Ernest M., 152, 176-177, 178, 

198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 225 
Whitcomb, G. Henry, 65, 98, 104, 106, 

107, III, 112, 120, 121, 122, 129, 131, 

132, 152, 176 
White, Lawrence G., 108, 221 
White, Sidney, property of, 198, 265 
White, Stanford, 89, 108 
White, S. v., 120 
Whiting, WilHam F., 121 
Whitmore, Francis E., 1 21-122 
Whitney Company, 142 
Whitney, Edward S., 155-156, 177, 178 
Whiton-Stone, Mrs. C. E., 122 
Whitridge, Frederick W., 106, 121 
Wilber, Levi S., 104 
Wild Life Sanctuary, 198, 231 
Wilder, Charles T., 120; hill, 120 
Wilder, H. A., 120 
Williams College, 6-7, 12 
WiUiams, Eugene F., 234, 235 
Williams, Samuel R., 19 
Williams, Talcott, 135, 164 
Williston, Asahel Lyman, 87, 88 
Williston Hall, 4, 5, 6, 57-62, 243, 278, 

Williston, Harry S., 88 
Williston, Lyman Richards, 58-59 
Williston, Robert L., 88 
Williston, Samuel, 35, 36, 37, 39, 44, 45, 

46, 47, 48, 54, 55, 57-61, 63, 69, 70, 72, 
79, 81; professorship, 38 
Wills, Charles T., Inc., 236, 242, 243, 


Wilson, Eugene S., '02, 152, 159, 160, 
162, 166, 234, 235 

Wilson, Woodrow, loi 

Winckley, Henry, 1 1 7 

Winship, George B., 64 

Wolff, Stanley, 155 

Woodbridge, Frederick J., 212, 222, 225, 

Woodbridge, Frederick J. E., 135, 164, 
168-169, 180, 181, 266 

Woods Cabinet (see Octagon) 

Woods, Josiah B., 4, 34-35, 36, 37, 39, 
40> 63, 65 

Woods, Josiah B., '05, 65 

Woods, Robert A., 164 

Woods, Robert M., 65, 131 

Worcester, James N., 232-233 

Worcester, Samuel, 36 

World War H: Army, Navy, Air Corps 
units, 270-273, 275; Civilian Protec- 
tion School, 130, 270; fraternities, 157- 
158, 268-270 

Wyckoff, Peter B., 106, 121 

"Yankee Order of Architecture," 40 
Yates, Joseph W., 91